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Death toll from Malawi cholera outbreak hits over 1,000

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More than 1,000 people have been reported dead in the worst cholera outbreak to hit Malawi, the southern African country’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday, while confirming that the country has run out of vaccines.

The nation has been battling cholera outbreak for weeks with more than 30,600 people infected since the first cases were reported last year.

“We have used all the vaccines we had. The fact that there is only one cholera vaccine manufacturer worldwide makes it difficult to acquire the life-saving drug,” Health Ministry spokesman, Adrian Chikumbe, told journalists.

“We are competing for the same vaccine with everyone else,” he added.

“What we need is high compliance to hygiene and sanitation,” said Chikumbe.

The director of Malawi Health Equity Network, a non-profit organisation, George Jobe, who assessed a press conference, blamed the spread of the disease on myths and misinformation spreading online.

“Most people don’t believe we have cholera. We have some religions that do not permit their members to go to the hospital when ill,” he said.

In September 2022, the World Health Organisation (WHO), had warned that after years of decline, the world would witness a “worrying upsurge” in cholera outbreaks, with climate change adding to traditional triggers such as poverty and conflict.

Metro

Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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