Published: Sat, April 06, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Mozambique: Mass vaccination campaign launched amid rise in cholera cases

Mozambique: Mass vaccination campaign launched amid rise in cholera cases

The Mozambique Red Cross has been on the ground even before Cyclone Idai hit almost two weeks ago and continues to support more than 200,000 people across the disaster zone.

The protective measures are to be carried out in four areas: Beira city, Dondo district, Nhamatanda district and Buzi district, where "basically the whole population there will be vaccinated", the World Health Organization spokesperson explained.

The disease is spreading rapidly, Unicef said. "The important thing is to get sick people into treatment as soon as possible". The burden of cholera is disproportionately carried by children and vulnerable groups.

The WHO spokesperson also warned that challenging weather conditions continue to cause concern. "Access to essential health services and the situation most likely will worsen therefore". The ERC utilised helicopters to drop aid in affected areas with displaced people.

At least 82 Zimbabweans have been buried in neighbouring Mozambique after their bodies were washed downstream in floods caused by Cyclone Idai.

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"Hundreds of thousands of people are living in bad conditions in temporary settlements without safe drinking water and sanitation, putting them at serious risk of cholera and other diseases", said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

The United Nations has appealed for $392 million to fund the humanitarian response to the disaster in southern Africa for the next three months.

The Red Cross has provided more than 2,300 isolated survivors of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique with emergency supplies, a Wednesday statement from the global organisation confirmed. The disease is easily treated with an oral rehydration solution or intravenous fluids in severe cases, but health workers say the sooner a person receives treatment, the better.

No region was immune to devastating natural disaster, she noted, calling for better, smarter investment in disaster prediction and resilience, making sure to prioritize those furthest behind. Gavi is also supporting operational costs of the campaign.

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