Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
Barely one week after Cyclone Idai killed more than 1,000 people and left several others displaced, the World Health Organization (WHO) is providing urgent medical assistance to thousands of people impacted by flooding in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
A statement made available to journalists on Thursday stated that the WHO and its partners were supporting all three governments in ramping up their health response to the disaster.
The United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that a total of 1.6 million people have been affected in the three countries.
The statement also revealed that an initial surge team of WHO experts is working with the three health ministries and other partners to target support where it is needed most.
According to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the displacement of large numbers of people and the flooding triggered by Cyclone Idai significantly increases the risk of malaria, typhoid and cholera.
He reiterated that the WHO stands with the affected people and is organizing assistance to address their urgent health needs.
“WHO has already dispatched medicines for injuries and primary healthcare (including malaria treatment) to the affected countries.
The supplies cover the primary healthcare needs of 10 000 people for three months, including treatment for severely injured persons.
“WHO is deploying a full incident management team to Mozambique for scaling up the health response.
Similar response actions with the deployment of health experts, medicines and medical materials and equipment are also ongoing for Malawi and Zimbabwe,’’ he added.