Typhoid outbreak hits Mchinji boarding school


Twelve pupils at Guillime Boys Boarding School in Mchinji are said to have spent the last two weeks in hospital after they were diagnosed with typhoid.

According to our sources, the school has poor hygiene and sanitation levels, hence being hit by the outbreak.

An inside source at the facility said the school received a letter which The Daily Times has seen from the District Environmental Office—alerting the school to improve on sanitation and hygiene.


“The District Health Office received reports of typhoid cases at Guilleme Health Facility. On October 9 2017, the first two cases were reported. A day later, on October 10, the number of the typhoid cases rose to 12,” reads the letter in part.

The letter further highlights the problem of overcrowding of learners in hostels at the school with more than half of the reportedly 250 learners sleeping on the floor.

The overcrowded hostels are also poorly ventilated and have cracked floors which could harbour various disease-causing germs.


“The eight toilets which are there are very few to allow for adequate sanitation within the premises. The water closets which the DRRT visited showed that they are poorly maintained and in very unhygienic conditions. There was no running water to ensure the functionality of the toilets. There were all indications that pour and flush system was being used,” further reads the letter.

Boarding Master at the school, a Mr. Chagozya, did not pick our calls on several attempts for a comment.

But the development has also been confirmed by Mchinji District Environmental Officer, Bright Mkomba, who said, since the outbreak, a team from his office has been monitoring the situation at the school.

““I can confirm that indeed there is a typhoid outbreak and we indeed wrote the said school about sanitation and hygiene, but I cannot share with you the details in the letter,” Mkomba said.

He further said that investigators from his department are still monitoring the situation at the school to prevent further spread of the disease.

“We are closely monitoring the health of the remaining learners at the school and we have put a close eye on the subjects that were close to those that have been victimised in the outbreak,” Mkomba added.

He further said school management is being equipped with necessary information on improving the hygiene of the school to mitigate the spread of the disease.

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