Scabies outbreak hits Mchinji

A child with Scabies. Photo by Aaron Banda, Mana

Mchinji District Health Office has confirmed the outbreak of scabies in the district, a contagious itchy skin disease.

The disease has hit almost all traditional authorities in the district following a large number of cases reported in various health centres.

Mchinji District Hospital Health Promotions Officer, Owen Chataika said the hospital has few drugs to cure the disease compared to the cases which he said are being reported at alarming rate.

“As of now, the disease has affected almost the entire district and as a health office, we’re appealing to well-wishers to support us with medical drugs to treat the already affected persons.

“We also need funds for community sensitisation to prevent further spread of the disease,” he said.

Chataika said the disease has mostly attacked children and advised communities to practice proper hygiene standards at all times to prevent the spread of the skin disease.

“Scabies can be prevented by bathing frequently with soap, avoiding sharing of clothes and beddings that are contaminated and most importantly, seeking health services,” he added.

According to Mchinji District Hospital Dermatology Officer, Fatima Chautsi from July, 2019 to January, 2020, the district hospital registered 1,186 cases.

“Scabies, if not treated in time, affects kidney and sometimes the heart gets affected,” she said.

The data seen shows that in October 2019, Our Lady of Mount Camel Community Hospital recorded at least 3,481 cases.

In a separate interview, Traditional Authority Mduwa said some of the children who have been affected by the disease have stopped going to school.

“We have been reporting to the health officials on the outbreak, however, we are encouraging communities to practise good hygiene standards,” he said.