Photo: Massive floods destroyed roads and forced 150,000 people to leave their homes behind. Mozambique 2013 © MSF
MSF Launches Emergency Response to Mozambique Floods
The Limpopo River, which flows from South Africa, swelled after several days of heavy rains and flooded Gaza Province. More than 140,000 people have already been displaced from their homes. They are shocked. Most lost everything when they fled.
MSF decided to go straight to Chokwe because we knew the situation was dire there. The city was under 1.5 meters [about five feet] of water in some areas. Houses and buildings collapsed, and in some places the electrical system was destroyed. Now people are slowly coming back to their houses to see what is left of them.
We set up a health post in the compound of Carmelo Hospital, the only health facility that was still functional. Fortunately the hospital received its monthly supply of antiretroviral drugs the week before the floods. The boxes were still sealed and the drugs were intact. We’ve got enough supplies for the coming weeks. In two days our team did 400 consultations. We are treating people who were injured in the floods, and we are also making sure that patients with HIVand tuberculosis (TB) are getting their drugs to ensure their treatment is not interrupted. Gaza province has one of the highest HIV-prevalence rates in the country, so it is essential to maintain patients on antiretroviral medicine. Some of them lost their medical files and don’t remember which drugs they take. This can complicate the continuity of treatment, but at the same time the patients are coming straight to us for guidance, which shows their remarkable commitment to their health.