Mchinji District nurses and clinicians have been urged to be proactive once they come across patients with severe diarrhea, saying that will prevent cholera outbreak in the district.
Mchinji District has not yet recorded cholera cases but the hospital is taking precautions as the district’s neighbouring districts of Chipata in Zambia, Kasungu, and Lilongwe have all been affected.
Mchinji District Health Office (DHO) Emergency and Rapid Response Team leader, Edson Kamba, in his letter to all clinicians in government hospitals and CHAM facilities reminds the hospital staff to enquire if the patients with diarrhea and vomiting have been to neighbouring districts affected by cholera.
“Remember, Mchinji District is now like on the island, as all surrounding areas to Mchinji have been hit by cholera and we must take all the necessary precautions to prevent our district from being hit,” reads part of the letter seen by Malawi News agency (MANA).
The letter also urges nurses and clinicians to probe in the history of patients for aspects like vomiting and abdominal pains. The letter further urges CHAM hospitals never to refer a patient with such symptoms.
On Tuesday, Mchinji District Hospital embarked on a cholera prevention campaign at the Mchinji- Zambia border by among other things, designating washing buckets at the border offices in order to encourage hygiene for people who cross the border from Zambia to Malawi.
Kamba told Malawi News Agency (MANA) the washing buckets, which have water mixed with chlorine, will ensure that immigration officers, Malawi Revenue Authority officials and people who cross the border are protected from germs which cause cholera.
“We are encouraging hand-washing and other precautions to prevent cholera outbreak, and Mchinji border is one of the strategic places where we have put measures to prevent cholera outbreak in the district,” he added.
The DHO’s office also sprinkled chlorine on door mats at the immigration offices and distributed hand sanitisers and hand rub lotions to officers working at the border. In addition, the DHO’s office will deploy health workers at the border who will be monitoring the use of hand washing services.
Mchinji District Deputy Environmental Health Officer, Bright Mkomba, also said his office through the health promotion office, was conducting awareness through drama and mobile public awareness systems on cholera prevention.
“The district will also embark on a cleaning exercise in the streets to encourage sanitation to prevent cholera hitting the district,” he said.