Mozambique

Project HOPE Update: Medical Humanitarian Assistance to Mozambique - Apr 2000

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Overview
Project HOPE is accepting donations to aid the people of Mozambique in southern Africa, which is experiencing its most destructive and devastating flooding ever. The response from pharmaceutical companies to requests by HOPE for donated medicines has been excellent, with significant commitments of urgently needed, high-quality, long-dated product. The first shipment of essential drugs and medical supplies will be delivered shortly. Project HOPE has worked in southern Africa for more than 10 years, and has long-term health programs and country staff in Mozambique to coordinate the relief effort.

Background

At the close of the 20th Century, Mozambique was among southern Africa's bright spots - a desperately poor country that was stabilizing politically and on a clear economic upswing. In the first months of this year, all this has changed dramatically. Weeks of torrential flooding and cyclones have claimed many lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless and without access to the most basic needs. Subsistence crops throughout southern and central Mozambique have been wiped out, and the next growing season is threatened.

As floodwaters begin to recede, Mozambique is facing even worse aftereffects of the flooding. Health services are overwhelmed by the number of patients in the affected areas. Drug stocks are running low and there is a serious shortage of health staff. The flooding has contaminated drinking water, produced overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions, and created good sites for mosquitoes to breed. As a result, tens of thousands of people have contracted malaria. Relief workers and health officials in Mozambique have reported cholera epidemics breaking out among the scattered colonies of people displaced by the floods. There is also a threat of diseases such as meningitis, infectious diarrhea, and eye infections. The death toll from all of these secondary effects of the flooding is likely to exceed that from drowning, especially among young children.

Response

The Government of Mozambique has requested medical aid to combat the imminent health crisis. Immediate needs for those who have had their livelihoods and health destroyed by the floods include antibiotics, antimalarials, intravenous fluids, and ophthalmologic preparations, as well as medical equipment to replenish the clinics destroyed by the floods.

Project HOPE is working with Mozambique's coordinating body for the disaster response, the National Disaster Management Institute, and the national Ministry of Health (MOH) to identify types and quantities of medicines and supplies most urgently needed in the affected areas. As HOPE has done in previous humanitarian assistance campaigns, donations of these products are being solicited from leading pharmaceutical and other health care companies. To date, the response has been rapid and positive. Among the stocks of drugs donated to HOPE for Mozambique is an effective, high-quality antimalarial in urgent demand.

HOPE has assembled the first relief shipment. At the same time, given the local scarcity of adequate storage facilities for medicines and supplies, HOPE has begun working with the Ministry of Health and donors to build a modular storage unit to house product being donated through HOPE. The facility will be fully secure and will have the capability to house refrigerated medical products such as vaccines and certain antibiotics. Subsequent medicines and medical supplies will be obtained and delivered as needs and resources dictate.

Project HOPE currently has a staff and long-term programs in Mozambique (see below), and maintains close relationships with the key public and private agencies in country. HOPE's medical humanitarian aid campaign will be conducted in coordination with the National Disaster Management Institute, the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and other appropriate groups.

Project HOPE in Mozambique

Project HOPE has been active in Mozambique since 1997. We have worked closely with the central Ministry of Health and community-based organizations in providing primary health care services in areas where the Ministry is unable to easily reach all populations. This has included immunization activities, HIV/AIDS prevention and education, and training of community members to address child survival through diarrhea control, malaria management, and other preventable diseases. HOPE has also contributed to the training of medical and nursing staff in primary health care management.

Send Donations To:

"Mozambique Relief"
Project HOPE
Carter Hall Lane
Millwood, VA 22646