Following the Mozambican government’s official declaration of cholera almost two weeks after Cyclone Idai, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is scaling up activities to treat people with cholera and help curb the spread of the disease. The cyclone and subsequent flooding substantially damaged the water supply system in Beira—the hardest-hit city in Mozambique—making it difficult for people to access clean drinking water, which is key in preventing the spread of waterborne diseases like cholera.
Gert Verdonck, MSF emergency coordinator in Beira, said the following:
“MSF is already supporting the Ministry of Health to care for patients suspected to be suffering from cholera in three health centers of Beira and has so far been treating more than 200 patients a day. In the coming days, we will work alongside the Ministry of Health to scale up as much as possible and provide support to more cholera treatment units as well as work to rehabilitate a larger cholera treatment center.
“Given the sheer amount of water that passed through Beira during Cyclone Idai and the volume of damage caused, it’s not surprising that there are outbreaks of waterborne diseases like cholera in the city.
“We have cargo planes arriving daily with the supplies we need and are also flying in experienced medical and logistical MSF staff from our projects in Mozambique and around the world.
“We are also in discussion with the health ministry about supporting a large cholera vaccination campaign in the area.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).