Ban on cooked market food as 893 battle cholera


A medical personnel at the Cholera Treatment Centre at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Photo/...
A medical personnel at the Cholera Treatment Centre at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Photo/AFP

In Summary

  • At least 30 people have died and 893 are ill in a cholera outbreak in Malawi, the health ministry has said.
  • The disease outbreak which began last November in Karonga, northern Malawi has spread to 13 districts in the country.
  • The drinking of contaminated water and poor food hygiene practices in affected areas have been blamed for the cholera outbreak.

At least 30 people have died and 893 are ill in a cholera outbreak in Malawi, the health ministry has said.

The disease outbreak which began last November in Karonga, northern Malawi has spread to 13 districts in the country, a spokesman for the ministry, Joshua Malango told CNN.

The drinking of contaminated water and poor food hygiene practices in affected areas have been blamed for the cholera outbreak, the ministry said on Thursday.

Malango told CNN that heads of affected districts have banned the sale of cooked food in market places in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease in the country.

“Prepared food in markets have been banned by our district councils now,” Malango told CNN.

“The main challenge and source of this outbreak is the use of contaminated water in the affected areas and poor food hygiene,” he added.

The United Nations agency for children, UNICEF, said it’s working with Malawian government and other international organizations to provide medical supplies and equipment for treatment of patients in affected communities.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness that kills thousands of people worldwide each year.

The disease is rare in industrialized nations but it occurs frequently in many countries in parts of Africa, especially in areas with poor or inadequate water treatment, sanitation and hygiene practices.

According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease is contracted by consuming food or water contaminated with the fecal bacteria Vibrio cholerae.

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