April is a critical month for Mozambique as it continues to reel from the effects of cyclone Idai.

Two weeks ago the country was hit by cyclone Idai that flooded parts of Mozambique and then battered eastern Zimbabwe and Malawi.

As of Wednesday, the World Health Organisation in partnership with the Mozambique Health Department will be embarking on a major vaccination campaign.  They are aiming to vaccinate over 900 000 at risk of contracting cholera.

About 271 people have been infected with the water-borne disease. The WHO’s David Wightwick says many other patients are being closely monitored.

Wightwick says the vaccinations will start on Monday.

“There are a number of cholera treatment centers being setup around the province. Nine centres are in the process of being setup all are already operational there is a vaccination campaign we have 900 000 doses of oral Cholera vaccine which are coming in on Monday and we will start the vaccination campaign as soon as possible.”

The Bizu River is a major source of water for remote villages in southern Mozambique. But on the 14th of March, the river changed from being the lifeline into a source of misery and pain – as cyclone Idai triggered waters, killed people and livestock, flooded homes and destroyed crops.

As the waters began to recede, survivors narrated harrowing stories.

US mission in SA 

The United States mission in South Africa is set to airlift over 2 000 tons of food from Durban as part of the relief for the cyclone ravaged Mozambique.

The US department of defence is flying from the King Shaka international airport to Mozambique. Consul General,  Sherry Zaleka Sykes says this is a continuing relief effort to help the country until it is stable.

“These food stuff will be delivered to Sofala Zambezi and Manika provinces. There are 2500 tons of rice, peas and vegetable oil that will be delivered to those people. The lifesaving emergency food assistance will support approximately 160 000 people for one month. Our US agency for international development they have a team that has been deployed to Mozambique, Malawi an Zimbabwe and they’ll continue to work for quite a while and they’ll be working on security issues shelter health.”

Recovery operations continue in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, search and recovery operations continue as many are still unaccounted for. Almost three weeks later, help continues to arrive –  NGO Gift of the Givers was among the first the first to respond. But the death toll could still rise as waterborne diseases spiral out of control.

The international community, African governments, NGOs and businesses are in a collaborate effort to help those affected.

At the weekend, a top-level South African delegation arrived in Mozambique to handover donations.

There’s still a major task ahead.

For now, the most urgent task is to save more lives.

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