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 of 16 volunteers is now operating in Mozambique. Last Friday, they flew by helicopter to the communities of Bopira and Grudja in the Buzi district to treat 46 patients. 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.

On Sunday, the team was transported to Grudja, where it set up their operational base. With this, they aim 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. In addition, medical supplies arrived in the coastal town of Beira to treat malaria and cholera patients. Hundreds of cases of cholera have been reported in the region in the last days, and the disease is likely to spread further. To counteract this, Johanniter is also using 22 mobile PAUL water treatment filters in Buzy district to supply drinking water.

Johanniter International Assistance's assessment teams have been working since 21. March.

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

On 29. March, a second assessment team arrived in Mozambique to steer the relief efforts on the ground. In the province of Manica, project coordinator Linda Zimmermann assessed the damage, especially in agriculture. Nationwide, harvests on more than 600,000 hectares were destroyed by the floods. According to Zimmermann, rapid food security measures are necessary.

Last Tuesday, Johanniter carried out the first distribution near the city of Beira. Families received tarpaulins, blankets, nails and ropes to repair damaged houses or to build temporary shelters against the rain.