Malawi is currently facing new cases of cholera outbreak that has now reached half of the country’s 28 districts. The government and communities’ trade blame over containment efforts.
According to the Ministry of Health in Malawi 23 persons have died of cholera since first case recorded back in November.
The number of infected people has now escalated to 739 from 157 in January.
Ministry spokesperson Joshua Malango told reporter that a major cause of the rising number of cases is because of people’s beliefs in superstitions that
“Some [people] are still believing that having cholera is not to do with hygiene, it’s to do with witchcraft or some traditional beliefs,” he said. ” So, instead of rushing to the hospital, they rush to seek traditional medicine which cannot help.”
Malango also says, for example, one patient died last Thursday in the capital, Lilongwe, because he refused to go to the hospital for medical help.
Malango also says churches that prohibit their sick members from getting medical help have contributed to the death toll.
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He says authorities recently rescued and took to the hospital some cholera patients who were being prayed for at a church in Salima district, central Malawi.
“They are members of Zion Church who resorted to go to churches for prayers and the like. So, three of them died and using police force we managed to rescue seven [cholera patients] who were at the church,” he said.
Cholera causes severe diarrhea and can kill within hours if not treated and it spreads via contaminated food and water.