The number of cholera deaths in Malawi rose to 183 by the end of October from 110 at the start of the month, and the total number of cases has reached 6,056 and is still on the rise, the health ministry said on 31 October, APA reports citing Sputnik.
By now, all 27 districts of the country have reported cholera cases since the outbreak in March.
Poor hygiene and sanitation are among the reasons the disease has spread.
“The major factors associated with the cholera outbreak in the communities are poor food hygiene, lack of safe water and low latrines coverage and usage [open defecation],” the ministry statement read.
The majority of the deaths occurred because of the late admission of patients to hospitals.
The ministry noted that unfortunately some patients were reluctant to seek medical care for religious reasons.
“It is sad to note that some cholera patients are not seeking care at an early stage because of religious beliefs, and this is making the disease spread further, resulting in unnecessary loss of life,” the ministry pointed out.
The authorities also called religious leaders to encourage believers to contact medical facilities as early as possible.
“Let [the ministry] appeal to the faith community to encourage their members that if anyone in the community has signs and symptoms of cholera they should seek medical care immediately,” the ministry urged.