Cyclone Idai: Ravaged Mozambique Reports First Cholera Cases
Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique. Reuters

Government health official has confirmed Cholera cases in Mozambique  on Wednesday following the natural disaster, the cyclone that ravaged the country

Concise News reported Cyclone Idai broke into Mozambique on March 15, unleashing hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that flooded much of the centre of the country and then battered eastern Zimbabwe and Malawi.

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The Red Cross has previously warned of a “ticking bomb of disease” and called for the deployment of medicines and health professionals to avert a full-blown health disaster.

“We have five cases of cholera which have been confirmed. This is in Beira and the area around,” the health official, Ussein Isse, told journalists, referring to the city which bore the brunt of the cyclone’s force.

Cholera is a waterborne disease that thrives in conditions of poor hygiene and causes acute diarrhoea that can prove fatal if untreated.

“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,” said Emma Batey, a coordinator at the COSACA emergency aid consortium.

However, Stagnant water, decomposing bodies and lack of sanitation in overcrowded shelters in Mozambique could create breeding grounds for typhoid and malaria in addition to cholera, experts say.

“There will be more cases because cholera is epidemic. When you have one case you can expect more. We are implementing preventive measures to limit the impact,” added Isse.

UN humanitarian aid chief Mark Lowcock has appealed for $282 million (250 million euros) of relief aid over the next three months for Mozambique.

The UN’s World Food Programme said roughly 3,125 square kilometres (1,200 square miles) of land had been swamped.

Nearly three million people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe have been affected according to the WFP and 500,000 displaced.