The World Health Organization stated that some 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine would arrive in the next week.
Cyclone ravaged Mozambique is now facing a potential cholera outbreak after five cases of the disease were reported in Munhava in Beira, according to the national director of medical assistance, Ussene Isse.
"We did the lab tests and can confirm that these five people tested positive for cholera," Isse said, explaining a looming "epidemic situation" with more cases expected. "It will spread. When you have one case, you have to expect more cases in the community."
The World Health Organization along with local health and other aid authorities have warned of the major threat of an impending “second disaster.” The organization added that some 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine would arrive in the next week, Al Jazeera reported.
"We were expecting cholera cases and we were prepared for this. We have put all the measures in place to try to mitigate the spread of cholera as much as we can," Emma Batey, a coordinator at the COSACA emergency aid consortium, said.
WHO's Director-General, @DrTedros has called for a “no regrets” approach - this means that @WHO is doing whatever it takes to address the crisis post-#CycloneIdai, investing all the available resources now to save lives and protect health. pic.twitter.com/GHMPm2RufW— OMSMocambique (@OMSMocambique) March 27, 2019
Authorities continue to struggle to provide clean water and proper sanitation to the affected people, and, as a result, residents have resorted to drinking stagnant roadside water or water from contaminated wells, Doctors Without Borders said.
“Extreme damage will likely lead to an … [an] increase of waterborne diseases, skin infections … and malaria in the coming days and weeks,” Gert Verdonck, the group’s emergency official in Beira, stated.
Typhus also pose a major risk to survivors of the storm.
In addition to the efforts of government water trucks, the United Nations (UN) children’s agency claims that parts of the city’s water supply system were working again and there was “water running in 60 percent of the pipes.”
"We must not let these people suffer a second disaster through a serious disease outbreak or inability to access essential health services. They have suffered enough," Dr Djamila Cabral, the WHO Representative in #Mozambique,” today to RDP in Lisbon #CycloneIdai pic.twitter.com/sJnZ5VtvSh— OMSMocambique (@OMSMocambique) March 27, 2019
The UN has asked the international community to donate US$282 million to the country for the next three months. The UN refugee agency announced that a first aid flight has landed in Mozambique’s capital and supplies will be immediately dispatched to Beira.
Two other flights are also planned for Zimbabwe and Malawi this week.