Mozambique Update 7 Mar 2000

Operational Plan
Faced with the worsening situation in Mozambique, Médecins du Monde is reinforcing its emergency mission. A new team of five people (one nurse, two logisticians, and two administrators) were sent yesterday. This will complement the team of seven people (two doctors, one nurse, three logisticians, and one administrator) already on-site since February 21 and 29. Two additional doctors will leave on March 7 and 9. This will bring the total to fourteen people (including six medicals) by the end of the week.

An evaluation mission made up of a doctor and a logistician had gone to the area on February 21 and were reinforced on February 29 with the arrival of a five person team. Ten tons of air cargo made up of medical and sanitation material arrived on-site March 1.

The team is working in the districts of Buzi, Chibabava, and Machanga (in the province of Sofala in central Mozambique). The capital of the area, Beira (where the airport is located), will serve as a home base.

Médecins du Monde is setting up consultations in the form of mobile clinics in vehicles and also in boats, the only way to gain access to a large number of the victims. Along with these clinics, health centers designated as separate from the evaluation mission have been provided with medicine. Finally, in order to limit the risk of disease transmitted through the water, the mission is completed by a sanitation program. An epidemiology watch program is also in effect.


The team reports a lack of coordination of aid and insufficient airlifting means for evacuating the victims, evaluating the needs and permitting access to victims in obstructed areas. The victims we have been able to get out have, for the moment, been spontaneously regrouped in open air on dry land. Not one organized camp has been set up in the area.

The decline of the water level raises considerably the risk of epidemic, like cholera, or preexisting sickness like malaria. There is also the worry of mines which could be drifting around.


MDM-Spain: A two person team (one doctor and one logistician) are leaving on March 7 to carry out an evaluation mission in order to get an emergency program under way as soon as possible.

MDM-Portugal, MDM-Sweden, MDM-Canada: In place to participate in MDM programs in case of a need for people or funds.

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