After Cyclone "Idai" in Mozambique: Emergency Medical Team Operating in Rural Areas

Berlin/Beira, 08. April 2019

Medical doctor Lorena Steinbach is treating a woman in Bopira. ©Lena Mucha

The Johanniter Emergency Medical Team (EMT) of 16 volunteers is now operating in Mozambique. Last Friday, they reached by helicopter 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 flight connection were provided by the United Nations. 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 are in need of humanitarian aid. Almost 60,000 people have lost their homes.

On Sunday, the whole EMT was transported to Grudja, where it set up the Base of Operations. Their aim is 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 basic 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 probably the disease will 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. (see video)

Last Tuesday, Johanniter carried out a first distribution together with ASB and HelpAge, near the city of Beira. Families received tarpaulins, blankets, nails and ropes to repair damaged houses or to build temporary shelters against the rain. Heavy rain showers are still threatening.

Support us attending the victims of cyclone "Idai".

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