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Malawi has reportedly run out of cholera vaccine amid its worst epidemic in decades

A health worker takes a cholera vaccine at the Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe central Malawi Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.   -  
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Thoko Chikondi/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


**Malawi’s worst cholera epidemic in decades has sparked massive demand for vaccines but stocks are reportedly running low.

According to local media, citing the spokesperson for the Malawi's health ministry - Adrian Chikumbe -, the country has no more cholera vaccines.

Malawi secured a tranche of 2.9 million doses from the Gavi-supported Global Oral Cholera Vaccine Stockpile in November.

The country’s 29 health districts reported cholera cases since the confirmation of the first case in March 2022.

As of January 20, Malawi’s health authorities reported a total of 631 new cases of cholera; 17 new deaths.

The cumulative confirmed cases and deaths reported since the onset of the outbreak stood at 28,132 and 916 respectively.

In its daily update, the health ministry urged all Malawians to adhere to preventive and containment measures.

Global epidemic

Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease spread via contaminated water and food which can cause severe dehydration. It is a bacterial disease that affects both children and adults. 

If left untreated, up to 30% of cholera cases can be fatal and in extreme cases, the disease can kill within hours.

If Malawi is the epicentre of the African epidemic, cholera is surging globally.

In December, the World Health Organization said the global stockpile of cholera vaccines it helps manage was "empty or extremely low".

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