AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Cyclone IDAI: now the threat is cholera; CUAMM at work to assist the affected populations

Saturday, 30 March 2019 natural disasters   solidarity  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - The official number of deaths is 493 people out of a total of 839.748 people affected, while 168.946 families are affected. These are the latest updated data sent to Agenzia Fides by Doctors with Africa CUAMM, which highlights the dramatic consequences of the passage of cyclone IDAI in Mozambique.
"There are the first cases of cholera confirmed by the government", reports CUAMM. Authorities and various humanitarian organizations are working to build Cholera Treatment Centers in all 4 districts concerned (Dondo, Buzi, Nhamatanda and Beira). Doctors Without Borders has already built the first centers. On Sunday, 800,000 doses of cholera vaccine will arrive, and in the near future another 300,000 will arrive as the population to be vaccinated is 1,300,000. The vaccination campaign will start on Wednesday 3 April. Doses of measles vaccines have also been ordered.
We are gearing up to increase the speed of food distribution because the first food trucks have already been attacked and even the health personnel during the awareness-raising visits have been attacked by the scared and hungry population. Further difficulties arise from the blocking of the Tica-Buzi road which can only be traveled on foot or by bike, or by boat.
Doctors with Africa CUAMM is busy these days organizing assistance activities at various levels and distributing food, water, clothes and basic materials and protective materials, such as gloves. To date we are assisting 150 families.
In terms of community awareness, 200 community activists have been sent, trained by CUAMM doctors and provided with first aid kits. "In addition to carrying out the activities that we normally implement in Beira, they will now also deal with: raising awareness about correct hygienic practices, early detection of possible cases of cholera, postponement of cases in prepared centers; provision of drugs; sending pregnant women to health centers; protection of vulnerable groups (children and adolescents).
Three ambulances are being set up for the H24 service to transfer maternal complications to the hospital of Beira and to the field hospital assigned to the Italian Civil Protection and additional support is being provided to the health personnel with the recruitment of 9 nurses to be sent in these three centers that have a very large number of deliveries.
Finally, CUAMM is supplying 3 autoclaves to ensure the sterilization of surgical instruments used in health centers. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 30/3/2019)