Responding to a Deadly Cholera Outbreak in Malawi

Responding to a Deadly Cholera Outbreak in Malawi

MALAWI —Hours and even minutes are crucial when it comes to cholera. Without timely treatment, this disease can quickly claim the lives of children and adults. In the southern African nation of Malawi, more than 45,000 people have come down with this life-threatening illness in recent months, and sadly, over 1,500 of these patients did not survive.

While all of Malawi’s 29 districts have been affected, Samaritan’s Purse sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Lilongwe District where the number of new cholera cases has remained consistently high. In early February, they set up a 53-bed Cholera Treatment Center including 20 additional observation beds or chairs, at Nkhoma Hospital, a World Medical Mission partner since 2019.

Some people have said, cholera is a disease of the poor, because they lack a lot of resources like the potable water.

Paul MekaniNkhoma Mission Hospital:

Cholera is endemic in Malawi. It happens usually during the rainy season. For this outbreak that we’re having, I’ve seen one of the highest peaks that I’ve ever witnessed with my own eyes.

Salome Christopher:

When I saw that all four of my children had fallen sick, I was very scared. I immediately took them to the hospital. Out of my four kids, there was only one who was able to walk by himself.

Dr. Dickson KulisewaNkhoma Mission Hospital:

Someone with cholera, they become very weak. So their eyes become sunken, their lips become dry, the patient is unable to stand or walk on his own. We have to monitor them frequently almost everything 30 minutes or 1 hour. So initially it was only a few nurses and a few doctors from the medical ward, which were helping patients with the cholera. And they were overwhelmed.


When Nkhoma Hospital sounded an alarm to our partners, one of them that came quickly to the rescue of the hospital was Samaritan’s Purse.

Josh TomlinSamaritan’s Purse:

The Samaritan’s Purse is here at Nkhoma Mission Hospital in Malawi to assist with the recent cholera outbreak. We came in in a staff assist model to come alongside of their people to provide the best care possible for those suffering. Everything from our medical daily clinical expertise to our sanitation, to our leadership, to our Logistics, we come alongside and we tried to make sure that this whole process is taking care of. The team of nurses and doctors that Samaritan’s Purse sent out here to help with the cholera epidemic are some of the bravest kindest most compassionate nurses. They are an elite team of people who love Jesus and are really good at what they do. As a Christian and as a nurse we go where the hurting people are. We provide that care and we show the love of Jesus to them.

Dr. Dickson:

We have seen the hand of God in this pandemic, especially here in Nkhoma Mission Hospital, through this group of Samaritan’s Purse coming here to Nkhoma Mission Hospital helping day and night.


It is not all about the resources, it’s about the strength that we have in Christ. Christ has been at the center of all this. Whatever is being done is because of the inspiration of Jesus Christ himself, who provides everything in so many different ways.

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program is committed to meeting the critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease, and natural disaster. We stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice whenever and wherever disaster strikes. The DART specializes in providing water, food, shelter, and medical care while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

CONTACT: Gabrielle Bouquet,

Read more news on Non Profit Organizations, Humanitarian Services, and Medical Ministry.

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