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Mozambique: Malteser International ends emergency response after Cyclone Idai

150 community hygiene promoters received training to raise public awareness on prevention of water-borne diseases. Photo: Malteser International

The promoters also received bicycles to enable them to reach people in more remote areas. Photo: Malteser International

After two months of health promotion activities, Malteser International teams in Mozambique have successfully concluded the relief mission that was launched in response to the emergency situations created by Cyclone Idai in March.

Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique's coast with winds of up to 130 miles per hour that caused heavy flooding and contaminated many water resources. In the days following the disaster, Malteser International emergency response teams surveyed affected communities and identified water-borne diseases as main medical risks.

In order to prevent the spread of cholera, Malteser International trained 150 hygiene promoters who helped raise awareness on good hygiene practices and water purification within the affected populations in the Nhangau region and around the city of Beira.

“Thanks to our quick intervention, not a single case of cholera was recorded in Nhangau,” said Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s Emergency Relief Coordinator. “We were also able to introduce better hygiene practices to members of the community. In some villages, for example, pigs were often slaughtered right next to drinking water sources, increasing the risk of water contamination. Our health campaign has helped them rethink how these abattoirs can be better managed to avoid health risks.”

The storm had also destroyed houses and public facilities. Malteser International team also provided support for the reconstruction of a school building in Nhangau and helped equip a health center to serve communities in the area. “The scale of devastation were enormous. So it was all the more impressive to see how the combined efforts of the people of Mozambique is helping to rebuild their country. We are happy to have been able to contribute a small part to this and I look forward to seeing children go back to a functioning school and the infirmary fully operational," says Hochedez.

After successful completion, local authorities will take over further health activities in the region. The relief mission in Mozambique was financed by private donations and funds from Nachbar in Not Austria, the European Investment Bank and the French Association of the Order of Malta, Ordre de Malte France.


Katharina Kiecol
Email: katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org

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