Emergency Medical Team of Johanniter International Assistance active in Rural Areas of Mozambique

Beira, Mozambique, 11. April 2019

Pictures by Johanniter/ Lena Mucha

The Johanniter Emergency Medical Team is operating in Mozambique. On 2 April they flew by helicopter to the communities of Bopira and Grudja in the Buzi district to treat people in need of medical aid. The area could not be accessed by land from Beira; the United Nations provided the flight connection. The floods and destruction - caused by cyclone Idai - have claimed more than 500 lives in Mozambique so far. According to the UN, some 1.8 million people need humanitarian aid. Almost 60,000 people have lost their homes.

The Emergency Medical Team set up their operational base in Grudja aiming to provide basic medical assistance to 17,000 inhabitants in the area. Additionally, more than two tons of vital medical supplies were sent to the area to ensure medical care for 10,000 patients over three months. Hundreds of cases of cholera have been reported in the region and the disease is likely to spread further. To counteract this, Johanniter also distributed 22 mobile PAUL water treatment filters in Buzy district to supply drinking water.

Next to the Emergency Medical Teams, assessment teams of Johanniter have been working since 19 March on the ground to overview the situation and to prepare projects.

Four of the five houses we saw during rural assessments, were destroyed," said Dr Oliver Hoffmann, public health advisor at Johanniter.

He expressed his concern about the fragile state of health care.



Enormous damage in agriculture threatens food security

In the province of Manica, project coordinator Linda Zimmermann assessed the damages, especially in agriculture. Nationwide, harvests on more than 600,000 hectares were destroyed by the floods. According to Zimmermann, quick food supply is necessary to avoid hunger in mid-term.

On 2 April Johanniter carried out the first distribution together with local parnter organisations near the city of Beira. Families received tarpaulins, blankets, nails and ropes to repair damaged houses or to build temporary shelters against the rain. Middle of April, 120 families in Gondola (Manica province) received seeds, tools, moskito nets and hygiene kits. 500 families will be reached by the assistance to avoid the spread of diseases and to restart agirculture.

The work of the project assessment team will continue until 17 May supporting the reconstruction after the emergency aid. A total of three project assessment teams explored the situation in the disaster region during the mission and identified the needs for assistence. Two Emergency Medical Teams with a total of 23 helpers provided medical care to 842 patients in the area of operation in the village of Grudja.