Flood waters are beginning to recede in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai made landfall last month, but recovery is just beginning for the country, where thousands remain displaced.
On Monday, the latest shipment of essential emergency medicines arrived in Mozambique, and includes more than 200,000 defined daily doses of antibiotics, analgesics, oral rehydration solution, deworming medicines, and other supplies. The shipment will be delivered this week to Beira, which was badly impacted by the storm, and the supplies will equip public health facilities in the area.
Direct Relief also committed $250,000 to response efforts surrounding Cyclone Idai, and will procure additional medicine based on specific requests from key health facilities in affected areas.
Direct Relief emergency response staff have now conducted field assessments in Beira, Mozambique, and the team is working with local health authorities, local NGO partners, including Health Alliance International, and other organizations to get critically needed medicines and cholera relief supplies to health groups and hospitals in the affected areas.
Direct Relief is also dispatching emergency medicine and medical supplies to partners in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
When the cyclone made landfall on March, 14, it brought torrential rainfall on an already flooded region. The flood waters created a virtual inland sea in the interior of Mozambique, which left hundreds of thousands cut-off and stranded by flood waters, damaged roads and bridges. The death toll is over 700 across the region and it is predicted that it may ultimately reach 1,000 in Mozambique alone.
Roads are slowly being reopened, which means displaced and stranded communities are gradually being reached, however, at the same time, outbreaks of diarrheal disease are being reported in multiple sites and a cholera outbreak has now been declared.
Government authorities, UN agencies, and international non-profit organizations are racing to assess needs and distribute aid. These needs remain very high with hundreds of thousands needing sustained access to clean water, food, shelter, and health services.
In addition to medical shipments, Direct Relief has also transported 150 kits containing hygiene items, which are being handed over to the Ministry of Health in Maputo for distribution to affected communities.
Meanwhile, in Malawi, a shipment of emergency medical packs, ORS and antibiotics has been dispatched to local organizations responding to Cyclone Idai-related flooding.
Direct Relief staff are continuing to directly coordinate with international, national and local authorities and organizations in Mozambique, including the Chissano Foundation and former President Chissano.