The 2022 Malawi Polio outbreak

Penjani Chunda1 , Mike N. Chisema2, Annie Mwale3, Dzinkambani Kambalame3, Daniel Mapemba3, Adamson S. Muula1*

1. District Environmental Health Officer, Head of Preventive and Promotive Health Services and District Incident Manager, Blantyre District Health Office, Blantyre District Council, Malawi

2. Directorate of Preventive Health Services, Program Manager for Expanded Program on Immunization, Operations Manager Polio Outbreak Response

3. Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM), Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi

4. Editor-in-Chief, Malawi Medical Journal and Professor & Head, Department of Community and Environmental Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS), Blantyre, Malawi

*Corresponding author: Adamson S. Muula, Email address:


After 30 years of no polio cases reported in Malawi, on 17th February 2022, the government declared a polio outbreak following a confirmed 4-year-old child case of the disease in the nation’s capital, Lilongwe. This was the first case of wild poliovirus in Africa in more than five years after Africa was declared free of indigenous wild polio in August 2020. Laboratory analysis showed that the strain detected in Malawi was linked to that which had been circulating in Sindh Province of Pakistan.

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