At least 1,052 people have become ill with cholera in Mozambique’s cyclone. The health ministry confirmed the first death from Beira city, the worst affected area accounting for 959 out of the total 1,052 cases.
Some 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines were due to arrive in the cyclone-battered Beira city on Tuesday, from the global stockpile for the emergency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Vaccination against cholera begins on Wednesday in Beira,” a senior Mozambican health official Ussein Isse said.
Cyclone Idai killed more than 700 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless, many of whom have been forced to use dirty water supplies and more than 146,000 people have been displaced from their homes
Cholera is transmitted through contaminated drinking water or food and causes acute diarrhoea. The numbers of cholera cases are expected to rise due to the increasing numbers of people reporting to health centers with symptoms, said the WHO in a statement.
“The next few weeks are crucial and speed is of the essence if we are to save lives and limit suffering,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO chief for Africa, in the statement.