UPDATE: MARCH 27, 2019—Following the Mozambican government’s official declaration of cholera almost two weeks after Cyclone Idai, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is scaling up activities to treat people suffering from the disease and help curb its spread. 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.
“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," said Gert Verdonck, MSF emergency coordinator in Beira. "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.”
NEW YORK/BEIRA, MARCH 26, 2019—As more than a million people struggle to rebuild their lives in flood-affected parts of Mozambique following Cyclone Idai, emergency teams with the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have started medical response activities. The response to the disaster caused by heavy flooding will be enormous in scale, as those affected are in urgent need of assistance and basic necessities such as clean water.