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Malawi gets 2.9m cholera vaccine doses as outbreak spreads

In this Sept 14, 2019 file photo, a Yemeni child receives an oral cholera vaccine from a volunteer during a vaccination campaign in the capital Sanaa. (MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)

BLANTYRE – Malawi has received 2.9 million doses of oral cholera vaccine as an outbreak continues to spread across the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF said on Monday.

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The vaccine consignment comes as the death toll from the outbreak that started in March rose to 207, Malawi health ministry figures showed.

Malawi Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda was quoted as saying in a statement by WHO and UNICEF that the vaccination campaign would be carried out over the next few weeks, but no start date was given

The WHO facilitated procurement of the oral cholera vaccine with funds from global vaccines alliance Gavi. UNICEF supported delivery of the doses from a global emergency stockpile.

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Malawi Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda was quoted as saying in a statement by WHO and UNICEF that the vaccination campaign would be carried out over the next few weeks, but no start date was given.

"The campaign will target 2.9 million Malawians comprising of adults and children aged one year and above living in highly cholera-affected districts," Chiponda said.

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An earlier cholera vaccination campaign in May 2022 reached more than one and half million people.