Five cases of cholera have been confirmed in Beira and surrounding areas in Mozambique following the cyclone that ravaged the country, killing at least 468 people.
Two thousand-700 cases of acute watery diarrhoea – which could be a symptom of cholera have also been reported. Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozambique on 15 March, unleashing hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that flooded much of the centre of the country and then battered eastern Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The Red Cross has previously warned of a “ticking bomb of disease” and called for the deployment of medicines and health professionals to avert a full-blown health disaster.
A treatment centre for cholera has been set up in the Beira hospital. The World Health Organization is dispatching 900-thousand doses of oral cholera vaccine to affected areas from a global stockpile.
The shipment is expected to be sent later this week.