Mozambique will start a cholera vaccination campaign next week in areas ravaged by Cyclone Idai, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday (March 28), after five confirmed cases were detected.
Thousands of people were trapped for more than a week in submerged villages without access to clean water after Cyclone Idai smashed into the Mozambican port city of Beira on March 14, causing catastrophic flooding and killing more than 700 people across three countries in southeast Africa. With tens of thousands of displaced people moved to makeshift camps, relief efforts have increasingly focused on containing outbreaks of waterborne and infectious diseases.
David Wightwick, a senior member of the WHO’s response team in Beira, told reporters that seven clinics had been set up in Mozambique to treat cholera patients and that two more would be ready soon. “We have 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines which are coming in on Monday, and we will start a vaccination campaign as soon as possible next week,” Wightwick said. Wightwick could not confirm whether there had yet been any deaths from cholera in Mozambique.