Mozambique

Possibility of ground transport will aid food and water distribution

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There were intermittent heavy rains throughout the night of March 7 but most of the rainfall has been either absorbed by the ground or gone in the African heat.
With the declining waters and drying mud, there is a better chance that ground transport shall improve very quickly.

On Saturday, MSF is expecting its first 4WD and shall be used with the MSF team in the Inhabane region. Thoughts are that, barring heavy rains, the vehicle should be a positive contribution to transport in the region.

Right now officials are downplaying the use of ground transport in the Gaza region and believe that efforts are undertaken at the NGOs risk.

MSF medical teams are still maintaining a 1,000 person per day consultation rate at the two heath centres in Chokwe. This has been the constant since Saturday and yet the resident population is rated at 10,000. However a large segment of the population is transient as they are arriving and then leaving for a local camp. In addition, the health posts are providing care for the surrounding area where the population is increasing with the fall in flood waters.

Fortunately food has started to arrive in the city and so one of the more pressing concerns is starting to be undertaken.

There are three NGOs particularly active in Chokwe. The WFP is delivering food and GOAL has undertaken distribution. MSF is coordinating all medical and is assisting in food distribution.

MSF has already distributed two tons of protein biscuits (BP5). Fifteen tons of plum peanut (high-protein peanut paste) have arrived and are being distributed as well as more BP5. Food trucks did not arrive over the week-end of 4/5 March, although the World Food Programme did deliver food on Monday the 6th. GOAL is distributing this food.

Water is another issue. There has to be more potable water available in the city if diseases such as cholera are to be prevented or minimalised.

MSF has already cleaned seven boreholes and 90,000 litres of clean water. On Monday March 6, more water treatment material as well as materials for handpumps were delivered. This is not the end of the water problems and MSF is assisting in both the delivery of more water as well as the development of more independent water supplies.

MSF has been active with medical and health assistance in Chokwe. There are two health posts in the city that MSF both supplies with medical goods and provides expertise. These are the centres handling over 1,000 consultations per day between them. One centre is being coordinated by Carmelite nuns who used to run the Chokwe hospital, which was inundated by mud and remains unusable.

The prevalent medical problems are mostly of malaria, conjunctivitis, respiratory diseases and diahhroea. No cases of cholera have been identified yet. There is a need for medicines, although on Monday the French navy carried two tons of medicines to Chokwe for MSF. Tents and plastic sheeting were also distributed.

There are more expatriate staff arriving in Chokwe today (March 8). Epidemiological surveillance will be carried out in Chokwe, Macia, Chaquelane and surrounding areas as soon as possible, with the data being given to the Ministry of Health. MSF will also be giving measles vaccinations.

Maputo - Matola

Around 20,000 people (figure to be confirmed) are still living in temporary shelters. MSF has set up four cholera emergency preparedness centres (these are the same centres as mentioned in previous MSF reports) with a total of 120 beds should an epidemic occur.

A cholera expert arrived yesterday to help with intervention, if necessary.

Some sources are saying that a serious cholera outbreak has started in Maputo. MSF sources do not confirm this information.

So far, 31 suspect cases were referred last week, and six and seven suspect cases per day have been referred over the weekend. A total of eight cases have been confirmed vibrio cholerae positive in Maputo.

Chaquelane

With a population of 34,000 currently staying at the camp and a lack of access to a direct water supply, there is a problem in Chaquelane with water supply. MSF has contributed a solar pump and is assisting with water trucking. The local water supply was tainted by the flooding and is currently unacceptable as a resource.

MSF has one health post doing outpatient consultation and triage. However, the population's density and size in Chaquelane means the risk of disease outbreak is high. To prevent this, the camp needs more food, potable water, shelter and medicines as soon as possible.

City of Macia

Macia has 1 health post, with an outpatient department and triage. The news from 3 March 2000 say 3,000 people live in the city and 3,000 in a camp. Water & sanitation elements are being freighted. One suspected cholera case has been reported - the stool sample has been brought to Maputo for testing today.

MSF in the field

Following an exploratory mission over the weekend MSF began intervening in two villages near Chibuto on March 7: Guija-Canicado and Chinhacanine (north of Maputo, near Chibuto)

Guija-Canicado and Chinhacanine are seeing many displaced who have not eaten since 27 February and have no water or shelter. In Guija-Canicado there are 7,000 people in need and Chinhacanine has a displaced population of 7,000 who have come from Barraguem which was severely damaged by the floods.

MSF started intervening on March 7 with water treatment material, plastic sheeting, BP5, blankets and tents. The team will also be cleaning the well in Guija which will serve 7,000 people. Five tons of food and a 4WD car will be arriving on Saturday specifically for this mission.

The team is visiting the villages on a daily basis and the helicopters are doing multiple trips to deliver necessary supplies.

Inhambane and Sofala Provinces

Exploratory mission in Inhambane and Sofala Provinces

MSF is carrying out an exploratory mission in South Sofala and North Inhambane, along the river Save. The material which MSF already had in Beira - 19 tons - is being transported into Inhassoro, where MSF is based for intervention further north. MSF scheduled an exploratory mission to Nova Mambone and in a catholic mission on March 8. The populations are displaced and isolated in both locations.