Response to be scaled up shortly
After two-and-a-half days on the ground in very challenging circumstances, the MSF emergency team in Beira, Mozambique managed to move from needs-assessment phase to initial medical assistance phase on Thursday (21 March).
First day of activity was quite limited. But this is to be expected as only today we managed to get our first (relatively small) consignment of medical supplies to Beira.
According to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), there have been 202 dead, 1,500 injured and 600,000 affected due to cyclone Idai in Mozambique. The scale of the needs is simply massive, and in the coming days and weeks the MSF response will scale up enormously.
A team of 6 emergency-experienced staff is on the ground in Beira now. MSF is sending more of its best emergency-experienced teams to the flood-affected areas.
In rural areas around Beira, we eagerly await the arrival of further MSF emergency teams as there are almost certainly huge needs in multiple places.
With a lessening in intensity of the rain, several dams that were planned to be opened to avoid dam-collapse may not need to be opened. This is still precarious, but may be one of the first pieces of good news. Other rivers bursting their banks still possible, so we should not think this is anything like over yet.
For coming days, we will continue and expand mobile clinic activities in settlements where people whose houses were destroyed have gathered.
We will install makeshift roofs on two health centres in low-income neighbourhoods of Beira. In one of these centres MSF was providing HIV care before the cyclone hit.
We have also activated massive mobilisation of MSF’s emergency supply systems. There will be more cargo (medical supplies and relief items) to arrive, which will enable expansion of activities. Big orders of medical and non-medical emergency-response essentials are being prepared and will be dispatched as soon as possible to Mozambique.
At the moment our main concerns remain to be safe drinking water, healthcare in general, access to disaster zone as well the situation outside Beira.