MZUZU (Yohane Chideya, Mana) –Mzimba North District Health Office (DHO) says it is leaving no stone unturned in making advances to armor Mzuzu City and surrounding areas in Mzimba North from cholera that continues to soar in the country.
Data sourced from the office show that as of 1 February, 2016, the country has registered 700 cholera cases with 10 deaths since the first case of the outbreak was recorded in Machinga district on December 17 last year (2015).
According to DHO Mzimba North, Dr Khumbo Shumba, despite that Mzuzu has not registered any cholera case as of now; the city is on the knife’s edge considering that most of the food products sold in the city come from its neighbouring Nkhata Bay District, where 50 cases of cholera have been reported so far.
“First of all, I am delighted because in Mzuzu we have not registered any [cholera] case as of now, but this does not mean that we are spared.
“Nkhata Bay District is just 50 kilometres away and most of these food stuffs we consume here [in Mzuzu] come from there, so we have to be very alert. As of now we have started sensitizing residents in all sectors on the preventive measures of the pandemic,” he said.
Shumba said the sensitization programs, that mainly pin-point sanitation and personal hygiene, will target schools, market premises as well as all residential areas within the city’s boundaries.
The DHO therefore, warned people from buying raw foods from street vendors which he said are sold in very unhygienic environment.
“I must say things are not all that fine in our markets. This automatically makes the food stuffs exhibited not safe for consumption, so it’s a wake-up call to everyone to take necessary measures,” warned the D.H.O.
He, however, expressed worry over the continued trend of some individuals in the habit of open defecation in some places around the city, saying the habit is a worrying health hazard