I have learnt with sadness that we have this far, four known deaths from Cholera.
The saddest thing about this is that beating cholera, unlike other diseases, requires no rocket science.
Simple, day to day hygienic practices like washing hands before and after eating and after visiting toilets, covering food, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them and instituting an effective waste (rubbish) management system are all we need.
If there are diseases out there we should be able to eradicate without asking for or spending a donor’s cent, cholera ranks high on that list.
Cholera outbreaks, in many countries, only occur when disasters damage infrastructure intended to help manage human waste or when severe drought or floods force people to scrounge for water and food in places likely to be infested by disease.
But here we are, without any disaster at all, we have cholera incidences.
You want to know how? Ours is a case of poor hygiene. Umve, utchisi, and what have you.
Now before those of us who live in Namiwawa, Sunny Side, Area 43 or Area 9 begin pointing fingers at my friends, brothers and sisters in Ndirande, Zingwangwa, Kawale, Chigwiri, Chibavi etc; check this.
The pictures below are not from Mchesi. Chilomoni or Sikinala.
I personally took these pictures right here in Area 11. Area 11, as you are aware, is supposedly a low density area in the heart of the Capital City.
Posh as it is, Area 11 is suffering from the lack of a waste disposal and management resulting in this sad, unhealthy and cholera-friendly spectacle.
One wonders: are the councils still collecting city rates? If yes, what are they doing with our money?
These are not the only questions that come to mind.
In the health sector, we have as our primary disease prevention foot soldiers, the HSAs.
Are they empowered with the right tools and are we using them effectively?
Go to any trading centre, especially on a market day. Our markets are active habitats for grooming and disseminating Cholera.
My friends, brothers and sisters, surely we can do better.
I sincerely hope that we have enough self-respect to realize that fighting Cholera is our job. We should not harass donors e.g. WHO, UNICEF, USAID etc. I personally, will view that as a gimmick to fundraise so that we can cashgate..
Seriously we can do better!
Therefore, as long as I see waste dumps thriving in our locations, no one can convince me that Cholera has been contained.
Let’s begin to take care of our environment. Let’s begin owning our Malawi.
We shouldn’t require inducements like “Open Defecation Campaign Awards” or loans for toilets to fix the basics.
My dearest friends, brothers and sisters, please take these photos as a clarion call to get to the basics in terms of hygiene.
In this age and era of smartphones and artificial intelligence, it is a disgrace to let our friends and relatives die or suffer from cholera.