Malawi is [...] battling a cholera outbreak which has killed 19 people [in Lilongwe] since the onset of the rainy season, an unusually high death toll. Up to 485 cases of the epidemic have since been registered and treated. World Health Organisation records from the 2007/2008 rainy season indicate not even a single cholera case was registered in the country’s capital, Lilongwe, last year, although up to 20 deaths and 1,022 cases were documented in nine of Malawi’s 27 districts.
[...] The country’s health experts have attributed the [cholera] problem to lack of safe water combined with poor sanitation and poor hygiene. [...] “We encounter cholera outbreaks almost every rainy season when people who have little or no access to safe water resort to using untreated water from swamps,” [Malawi's principal secretary for health Chris] Kang’ombe told IPS.
[...] A task force comprising the Ministry of Health, United Nations Children’s Fund – (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO) and United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID) is currently working to promote civic education on hygiene and chlorination of water sources in the country to control further cholera outbreaks.
Source: Pilirani Semu-Banda, IPS, 23 Jan 2009