URAC JOINS MUSICIAN MACHULUKA IN CHOLERA PREVENTION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
URAC joined hands with prominent musician Machuluka the Tonga Bits king in a two-day cholera prevention awareness campaign on 22 and 23 August, 2022. Machuluka, who is well known for his songs Zowala za Mwana Wangu, Ndaziya yiwi, and Uweliyepu Mubulu, among others, Machuluka – Malawi-Music.com
was also joined by Nkhata-Bay District Health Office and Edina Manda Foundation.
The campaign targeted high risk fishing populations of Kalowa, Liuzi, Tukombo, Kachere, Matete, Katoto and Kande in Nkhata-Bay. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness about cholera transmission and prevention among beach villages. The team advised communities against open defecation, and promoted ideas about how to make water safe to drink through boiling and hand washing using soap. The key message to the communities was that ‘prevention is better than cure’ Communities were advised to wash hands with soap at four critical times: after using the toilet, after changing baby’s nappies, before breastfeeding babies, before preparing and eating food.
During the campaign, URAC distributed relief items worth K300,000 including tapped hand washing pails, basins and soap for public use to curb further spread of the outbreak. Congestion, sandy soil structure and high water table in the lakeshore areas makes it hard for fishing communities to construct and use pit latrines as they do not take long to fill up or collapse. This escalates the rate of open defecation, a major cause of cholera.
URAC encouraged the communities to adopt Eco-San toilets which are environmentally friendly and ideal for sandy soils and congested areas. Meanwhile, according to Nkhata-bay District Health Office, cumulatively over 400 cases have been registered 12 deaths in the first week of August 2022. Machuluka performing at Tukombo Trading Centre during the campaign
Story by: Wongani Chunga & Sanny Longwe