MSF emergency teams are providing medical assistance in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai response: March 2019

MSF emergency teams are responding to the damage and devastating flooding caused by Cyclone Idai in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

More than 100 tonnes of supplies, including medical kits, water and sanitation equipment, logistical items and other supplies have been sent to Beira in Mozambique. 


Cyclone Idai hit Chimanimani district in Manicaland Province after crossing through Mozambique.

The death toll currently stands at 181 with 330 people missing and nearly 22,000 people displaced.

Several bridges and whole roads have been washed away, or remain blocked by rock falls, leaving some communities reachable by foot only. Many have been left without homes or livelihoods and access to safe drinking water is a major issue.


In Zimbabwe, an MSF team of 10 people is supporting ministry of health staff in Chimanimani with patient management and the supply of essential medications.

Teams are also conducting assessments, delivering relief items, treatment and materials, as well as rolling out water and sanitation activities to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

From 16 to 24 April, we supported a cholera vaccination campaign that reached 12,8251 people in Chimanimani and 33,4761 people in Chipinge.

Two MSF mobile teams are also supporting the worst affected health centres and settlements in Chimanimani to assess health needs and distribute medicines to clinics and village health workers.

Our teams remain concerned about water and sanitation needs to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases, and the long-term medical needs of many HIV, TB and chronic disease patients who are now without treatment.


Zimbabwe: Key information

Poverty and unemployment are endemic while political strife and repression are commonplace in Zimbabwe.

The landlocked country of 16.2 million people was, for almost 40 years, led by President Robert Mugabe - the pro-independence campaigner who wrested control from a small white community and became the country's first black leader.

Zimbabwe's economy has been in decline since the 1990s, with very few funds available for any public expenditure and social services.

As a result, the health sector faces numerous challenges, including shortages of medical commodities and essential medicines.

We have worked in the country since 2000. We currently run projects in partnership with the  Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Care to provide wide-ranging HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and mental healthcare.

The HIV prevalence rate has decreased from 30 percent in the early 2000s to 15 percent today, however, there are still major gaps in vital treatments and services available to patients.

© Rachel Corner/De Beeldunie

In Epworth polyclinic, a comprehensive package of HIV, TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) care is adapted for all ages and cervical cancer screenings and early treatment strategies are provided for all HIV-positive women.

We offer comprehensive support to victims of sexual violence and also comprehensive services for adolescents in the urban district of Mbare.


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