Posts tagged flood

Photo: Flooded streets in Gaza Province. Mozambique 2013 © MSF 
MSF Expands emergency response for Mozambique flood victims
Recent floods devastated the city of Chokwe in Mozambique’s Gaza Province, putting the main hospitals and health structures out of action and leaving people in urgent need of medical care. In response, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is bringing in extra staff and medical supplies and working to get the health facilities up and running again.
The wards of the city’s 120-bed referral hospital in Chokwe—225 kilometers [about 140 miles] north of Mozambique’s capital, Maputo—were deluged with mud and floodwater. MSF teams are working to reopen a section of the hospital, and hope that 10 to 15 beds will be ready for patients soon.
“More and more people are coming back to a devastated city where public services have not yet been reestablished,” says MSF Country Director Reveka Papadopoulou. “Our teams have witnessed an increased number of severely ill patients who need hospital care.”
MSF staff has provided more than 10,000 medical consultations since arriving in Chokwe on January 30, 2013. “We are seeing an average of 700 patients per day, and sometimes more,” says MSF Nurse Amelia Macuacua. “We are referring 15 to 20 severely ill patients to other hospitals in the district [that] are functioning but are already overloaded.”

Photo: Flooded streets in Gaza Province. Mozambique 2013 © MSF 

MSF Expands emergency response for Mozambique flood victims

Recent floods devastated the city of Chokwe in Mozambique’s Gaza Province, putting the main hospitals and health structures out of action and leaving people in urgent need of medical care. In response, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is bringing in extra staff and medical supplies and working to get the health facilities up and running again.

The wards of the city’s 120-bed referral hospital in Chokwe—225 kilometers [about 140 miles] north of Mozambique’s capital, Maputo—were deluged with mud and floodwater. MSF teams are working to reopen a section of the hospital, and hope that 10 to 15 beds will be ready for patients soon.

“More and more people are coming back to a devastated city where public services have not yet been reestablished,” says MSF Country Director Reveka Papadopoulou. “Our teams have witnessed an increased number of severely ill patients who need hospital care.”

MSF staff has provided more than 10,000 medical consultations since arriving in Chokwe on January 30, 2013. “We are seeing an average of 700 patients per day, and sometimes more,” says MSF Nurse Amelia Macuacua. “We are referring 15 to 20 severely ill patients to other hospitals in the district [that] are functioning but are already overloaded.”

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.

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.

Photo: Patients queue for medical attention outside an MSF tent at a mobile health clinic and ambulatory therapeutic feeding center in a camp for people displaced by the floods in Dera Murad Jamali. Pakistan 2012 © Fathema Murtaza
Voices From the Field: “There Are Thousands of Families Who Lost Their Homes Because of the Floods”

Amina’s StoryAmina*, mother to a one-month-old baby boy, shares her story on how her child came to be admitted to MSF’s hospital in Dera Murad Jamali. Her son was brought to the MSF nursery when he was 10 days old; weighing only 2.36 kilograms [about five pounds] he was diagnosed with tetanus.
“I have been married for two years; this little boy is my first child. I haven’t named him yet—I was not sure if he would survive. I like the name Yaseen, maybe that will be his name. 
We have no shade, no home or land; we live on the side of the road and use our beds as a tent. I delivered him under a makeshift tent near the Pat Feeder Canal. There are thousands of families who lost their homes because of the floods and are now living there too.
My husband, Saeed*, used to work on our landlord’s land. But the water came; it was shoulder high and we lost everything, even the food we had stored is lost.
Our landlord came down from Karachi to ensure the water was drained from his land so we could return to it. We don’t have anything to rebuild with and the landlord gave us nothing. He has gone back to Karachi. We are still hopeful that we will get some help.
When my son got sick, I pawned my earrings because we had nothing left to pay the doctors, however, when we came to the hospital here, we were told the treatment in the hospital is free! So, I used the money from the earrings to buy food for our family instead. It’s been a month since I sold my earrings, and now even the food is gone.
A few days after my son was born, he started having fits and had a temperature. We went to a private clinic where they said they couldn’t help us, but told us that we should take our son to the MSF hospital because they have a lot of facilities. So we brought him here. My son has been here for 25 days now.
Before I brought my son to the hospital he was not drinking any milk; he wasn’t even able to cry. He is my first child. I worry about him—and wonder if he will survive. We had thought about taking him from the hospital and going home because we didn’t see an immediate change in his health at first.Now, though, he opens his eyes. The nurses have explained that my son can be treated and can now slowly start to feed. 
Change has happened. My son is better. Now we are going to be patient and let the medical staff tell us when our son is ready to leave. I am very relieved and happy to see my son getting better. When I am able to take him home, I plan to celebrate by providing food to people who are poor and less fortunate than my family and me. We may not have anything, but at least we have our son. ‘Only Allah can help us now.’
We are glad we were able to access such good health care, and we know that it has saved our son.
*Names have been changed to protect patient’s anonymity. 

Photo: Patients queue for medical attention outside an MSF tent at a mobile health clinic and ambulatory therapeutic feeding center in a camp for people displaced by the floods in Dera Murad Jamali. Pakistan 2012 © Fathema Murtaza

Voices From the Field: “There Are Thousands of Families Who Lost Their Homes Because of the Floods”


Amina’s Story
Amina*, mother to a one-month-old baby boy, shares her story on how her child came to be admitted to MSF’s hospital in Dera Murad Jamali. Her son was brought to the MSF nursery when he was 10 days old; weighing only 2.36 kilograms [about five pounds] he was diagnosed with tetanus.

“I have been married for two years; this little boy is my first child. I haven’t named him yet—I was not sure if he would survive. I like the name Yaseen, maybe that will be his name. 

We have no shade, no home or land; we live on the side of the road and use our beds as a tent. I delivered him under a makeshift tent near the Pat Feeder Canal. There are thousands of families who lost their homes because of the floods and are now living there too.

My husband, Saeed*, used to work on our landlord’s land. But the water came; it was shoulder high and we lost everything, even the food we had stored is lost.

Our landlord came down from Karachi to ensure the water was drained from his land so we could return to it. We don’t have anything to rebuild with and the landlord gave us nothing. He has gone back to Karachi. We are still hopeful that we will get some help.

When my son got sick, I pawned my earrings because we had nothing left to pay the doctors, however, when we came to the hospital here, we were told the treatment in the hospital is free! So, I used the money from the earrings to buy food for our family instead. It’s been a month since I sold my earrings, and now even the food is gone.

A few days after my son was born, he started having fits and had a temperature. We went to a private clinic where they said they couldn’t help us, but told us that we should take our son to the MSF hospital because they have a lot of facilities. So we brought him here. My son has been here for 25 days now.

Before I brought my son to the hospital he was not drinking any milk; he wasn’t even able to cry. He is my first child. I worry about him—and wonder if he will survive. We had thought about taking him from the hospital and going home because we didn’t see an immediate change in his health at first.Now, though, he opens his eyes. The nurses have explained that my son can be treated and can now slowly start to feed. 

Change has happened. My son is better. Now we are going to be patient and let the medical staff tell us when our son is ready to leave. I am very relieved and happy to see my son getting better. When I am able to take him home, I plan to celebrate by providing food to people who are poor and less fortunate than my family and me. We may not have anything, but at least we have our son. ‘Only Allah can help us now.’

We are glad we were able to access such good health care, and we know that it has saved our son.

*Names have been changed to protect patient’s anonymity. 

Photo: MSF provided medical assistance and distributed aid kits to populations in need after severe flooding. Nigeria 2012 © MSF
MSF Responds to Floods in Nigeria
After severe floods hit eastern Nigeria in September, MSF provided medical assistance and distributed aid kits to populations in need.
Among the affected population, MSF staff found high rates of malaria, particularly in the Mayorenewo area, where more than 80 percent of patients tested positive. Malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and can be fatal if it is not treated. In an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes and avoid a spike in malaria cases, MSF teams exercised vector control by spraying breeding grounds and distributed mosquito nets to internally displaced families.
“Malaria is already endemic in the region but, due to the flow of people to this area, local health centers were unable to cope with the increased amount of cases,” said Terri Morris, MSF head of mission in Nigeria. “Also, in remote villages and settlements there were almost no functioning health services. Patches of standing water from the floods were a perfect breeding ground for mosquito larvae, and the situation was worsened by the overcrowding caused by the displacements. In some cases 150 people were sharing a house designed for a family of 20, all without mosquito nets.”

Photo: MSF provided medical assistance and distributed aid kits to populations in need after severe flooding. Nigeria 2012 © MSF

MSF Responds to Floods in Nigeria

After severe floods hit eastern Nigeria in September, MSF provided medical assistance and distributed aid kits to populations in need.

Among the affected population, MSF staff found high rates of malaria, particularly in the Mayorenewo area, where more than 80 percent of patients tested positive. Malaria is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and can be fatal if it is not treated. In an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes and avoid a spike in malaria cases, MSF teams exercised vector control by spraying breeding grounds and distributed mosquito nets to internally displaced families.

“Malaria is already endemic in the region but, due to the flow of people to this area, local health centers were unable to cope with the increased amount of cases,” said Terri Morris, MSF head of mission in Nigeria. “Also, in remote villages and settlements there were almost no functioning health services. Patches of standing water from the floods were a perfect breeding ground for mosquito larvae, and the situation was worsened by the overcrowding caused by the displacements. In some cases 150 people were sharing a house designed for a family of 20, all without mosquito nets.”

“These people have fled terrible violence in Sudan and lost family members during their arduous journeys for safety, and now they are sitting exposed in refugee camps on a flood plain and dying from preventable diseases due to horrific living conditions,” said Tara Newell, MSF emergency coordinator in Jamam. 

Photo:Children wade through the water and mud at Jamam refugee camp, where heavy rains and flooding have worsened what was already a dire lack of potable, clean water.
South Sudan 2012 © Shannon Jensen

These people have fled terrible violence in Sudan and lost family members during their arduous journeys for safety, and now they are sitting exposed in refugee camps on a flood plain and dying from preventable diseases due to horrific living conditions,” said Tara Newell, MSF emergency coordinator in Jamam. Photo:Children wade through the water and mud at Jamam refugee camp, where heavy rains and flooding have worsened what was already a dire lack of potable, clean water.

South Sudan 2012 © Shannon Jensen