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No Monkeypox in Malawi-Ministry

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George Jobe

By Patience Lunda

The Ministry of Health has dismissed fears that the country has registered a Monkey Pox case in Chiradzulu District.

This follows reports of a suspected case of the Monkeypox virus from a male patient who later died on Friday, June 10, 2022.

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In a statement issued Sunday, Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo, revealed that the patient had Varicella disease which affects the skin, brain, liver and lungs.

Mwansambo said the patient had not travelled outside the country and nor had he been in contact with any known case of Monkeypox.

“Through the Public Health Reference Laboratory at the Community Health Sciences Unit (CHSU) in Lilongwe, the Ministry will proceed to process samples from the case to guide the definitive diagnosis,” said Mwansambo in the statement.

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Public Health expert, Professor Maureen Chirwa said the Ministry should raise awareness amongst the citizenry for easy identification of signs and symptoms of the disease.

“We have had several diseases that we have been handling as a country lately and experience has given us lessons. The country is responding very well to emerging diseases but I think we need to do more in terms of awareness so that people can be able to identify the disease,” she said.

Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) Executive Director, George Jobe said despite lining up measures, there is need for assurance that the country has medication for the disease to avoid panic when cases are detected.

“We are recommending that the government should have medication for the disease if they don’t have, for example medication for 100 people so that we should be able to treat any cases that might be reported,” he said.

Monkeypox has claimed 72 lives in eight countries.

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