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Malawi Cholera Toll Hits 180

FILE: A medical personnel stands in front of a ward of a Cholera Treatment Centre, funded by the Unicef, Malawi Red Cross and UK Aid, at Bwaila Hospital in the capital Lilongwe. Taken January 25, 2018.

The death toll from a cholera outbreak in Malawi accelerated to 180 from 110 in October, the minister of health said on Monday, raising the likelihood that the situation could worsen.

The case fatality rate has risen to 3% from 2.8% recorded at the start of October, Malawi's health minister Khumbize Chiponda said in a statement, adding that the total number of infections since the start of the outbreak stood at 5,939.

The first case of the debilitating infection, which spreads mainly through contaminated food and water, was reported in March in the southern district of Machinga.

In May 2022 Malawi, supported by UNICEF, the WHO, and the Vaccine Alliance - "Gavi" started a mass vaccination campaign aimed at getting jabs into 1.9 million people above the age of one year.

Malawi's Ministry of Health says Gavi has provided sufficient doses to achieve that target figure.

Gavi reports that as of August 18, Malawi recorded a total of 1,358 cumulative cholera cases. The Vaccine Alliance also said 12 of Malawi's 28 districts have been affected by the outbreak.