Dowa — Dowa District Health Office with funding from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has successfully vaccinated people living in Dzaleka Refugee Camp and the surrounding areas with cholera vaccine in an effort to prevent the disease from breaking out in the camp.
The campaign, which started early November, ended on Friday last week, giving assurance to communities around the area of no cholera incidents this year. According to health officials, the targeted areas are hot spots for the disease.
Briefing Dowa District Council Management meeting on Monday, Chief Environmental Officer in the district, Mabvuto Thomas, said the campaign was aimed at making sure that no one in the area is attacked by the disease.
He said there were two rounds of vaccination, the last one ended on Friday last week. He added that no cholera outbreak had so far been reported.
According to Thomas, officials from his office will continue to sensitise people on ways of preventing the disease with the help from UNHCR.
There are over 33, 000 refugees at Dzaleka Refugee Camp, however the campaign targeted over 45, 000 people in and around the camp.
In a related development, the Chief Environmental Officer also informed the meeting that Dowa had become the second district in the country, after Balaka, to be declared open-defecation free (ODF).
This means people in the district are now using latrines to help themselves answer to the call of nature as opposed to helping themselves in the bush, which was a catalyst for diseases like cholera.