Tracking the source of cholera

The day began as usual. I woke up at 6:30 am to get ready for work. An hour or so later, I arrived in Area 24 to join my colleagues, and try to stop the spread of cholera in the area.

Area 24 is a crowded township located on the boundary between Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, and the surrounding rural district.

Our task for the day was simple: to locate, photograph and mark on a Google map all the nearby sanitation and hygiene facilities including toilets, water points and dumpsites.

City under siege: preventing cholera in Lilongwe

On 20 May 2018, Lilongwe became cholera free, following an outbreak that lasted four months, affected 388 people, and claimed 18 lives. Nationally, over 900 people were affected with 30 deaths. The outbreak was caused by unsafe water consumption and poor hygiene and sanitation practices. Unless these underlying issues are addressed, cholera is likely to return.

Saving children in Malawi’s birthplace of cholera

It’s only September, but the heat is already becoming unbearable. At the peak of summer, temperatures rise to a scorching 42°C in Nsanje, southern Malawi. The main road which traverses Malawi from Karonga in the north, becomes an earth road in the southern district. About 56km of bumpy earth road leads to Ndamera. There is not much to see on the way, just a few cows and some kiosks. The heat and the dust make the journey seem even longer.