Sunday February 12, 2023
Tanzanian health authorities have beefed up surveillance measures at health facilities and communities along the border with Malawi to control the spread of cholera to the east African nation.Makubi was reacting to reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday saying the deadliest cholera outbreak in Malawi's history has killed at least 1,210 people, while vaccines remain scarce as several other African nations reported outbreaks of the disease.
The file photo shows environmental officers disinfecting themselves after disinfecting a body at Bwaila hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Jan. 17, 2023. (Photo by Roy Nkosi/Xinhua)
DAR ES SALAAM, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian health authorities said on Friday that they have beefed up surveillance measures at health facilities and communities along the border with Malawi to control the spread of cholera to the east African nation.
Abel Makubi, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, told Xinhua in a telephone interview that the measures included active search and follow-up for suspected cholera cases along the border with Malawi and health education to the community on cholera prevention.
WHO said it assessed the current risk of spread inside Malawi and to other neighboring countries and termed it as "very high."
But Makubi said healthcare workers along the border have been trained on case identification, surveillance and case management.
He mentioned other measures as emphasizing the placement of hand washing facilities in public places along the border and hand washing practices, including at points of entry.
He said health facilities in the border districts have been provided with cholera rapid tests, adding that there was also frequent testing of water sources and sensitization on the treatment of water for domestic use.
"All these measures are being overseen by regional health management and district health management teams in consultation with the Ministry of Health," said Makubi.
According to WHO, Malawi's neighbor Zambia has also reported cases of cholera, as have Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Somalia.
The UN health agency said some 80,000 cases of cholera were recorded on the African continent over the whole of 2022.
Cholera, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, is contracted from a bacterium that is generally transmitted through contaminated food or water.