Cyclone Idai caused major damage to health facilities, with at least 54 health centres damaged, as of 2 April, according to the Government. The emergency room of the Beira Central Hospital was extensively damaged during Cyclone Idai’s landfall.
The risk of communicable diseases has increased due to stagnant flood water, decreased access to clean water due to the floods, as well as over-crowding in collective centres. Major risks include cholera and other acute watery diarrhoea, vectorborne diseases; increased cases of malaria, dengue, and other epidemic-prone diseases (measles), and malnutrition.
As of 2 April, MoH announced that some 1,428 cases of cholera and two deaths were reported in Beira (1,218 cases; 1 death), Dondo (66 cases; 1 death) and Nhamatanda (144 cases). Of these, 376 cases were reported in the last 24 hours. Health partners have also reported malaria cases in many affected areas.
An estimated 74,650 women impacted by the cyclone are pregnant and more than 43,000 women in flood-affected areas are estimated to give birth in the next six months, according to UNFPA. Of these, about 7,465 may be at risk of life-threatening complications of pregnancy in the next six months; they will need access to functioning health facilities and care.
Twenty organizations are providing direct health services or support to health facilities in affected areas. There are nine Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) deployed, five that are deploying and two that are on standby.
The cholera taskforce is holding daily meetings in Beira to inform operational response. The Oral Cholera Vaccination campaign is scheduled to begin on 3 April and to last six days. Cholera response and health response plans are being drafted with Ministry of Health.
A Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Working Group will be formed under the Health Cluster.
In support of the cholera campaign, messaging on cholera, malaria prevention as well as HIV/AIDS and genderbased violence (GBV) are ongoing through various channels of communication. The Government Institute of Social Communication has three mobile units – vehicles mounted with megaphones – which are spreading the messages.
The campaign in Beira (Manga and Central City) with two vehicles started on 27 March and will continue for 25 days. A third vehicle will start the campaign in Dondo district today (2 April) until 6 April. In the evenings (6pm7.30pm), the mobile teams are also organizing films with similar messages and entertaining drama/skits for people staying in accommodation centers and host communities. UNICEF/MOH are printing more IEC materials to be used and delivered by teams/volunteers in the cholera vaccination campaigns.
Limited information on the infrastructure status of health facilities and their functionality is available. Data that has been collected to date is being shared with partners.
Poor access to health facilities which have been cut-off by the cyclone and floods, hampering restocking of essential drugs and medical supplies in the health centres.
Poor communication network, which has affected collection and collation of health information.