Blantyre District Health Office is registering rising cases of scabies, warning residents to watch out for the disease.
A statement, which Blantyre Director of Health and Social Services Gift Kawalazira released Monday, indicates that cases of scabies have been registered in a number of health facilities in the district.
It pegs the number of scabies patients registered between June and September this year at 255.
He urges institutions that deal with large groups of people— notably schools, churches and mosques— to be alert and steadfast in reporting people with symptoms of the disease.
“The health office is also alert and conducting active surveillance in addition to sensitising community members on adherence to preventive measures to control the spread of the outbreak,” Kawalazira says.
According to the statement, South Lunzu has recorded 69 cases of scabies, Chichiri Prison nine, Kadidi 17, Makata 20 cases, Zingwangwa nine, Lighthouse Health Facility has recorded eight cases, Dziwe five, Mpemba 17, Gateway 61, Chimembe two while 38 cases have been recorded at a mobile clinic in the district.
“The health office has adequate supplies of medicines; so, everyone presenting signs and symptoms of this disease must consult their nearest community health worker of health facility,” the statement reads.
Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease caused by parasites that live and move in the skin, causing small blisters and papules.
The disease is associated with poor personal hygiene.
Common signs and symptoms include severe itching, especially at night, causing scratch marks.
In children, the most affected parts are palms, sores and neck.
“We, therefore, encourage people to take a bath every day, avoid sharing clothes, beddings, towels and [being in] congested places,” Kawalazira says.
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.