Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira City in central Mozambique on 14 March 2019. Initial reports indicate over 500 deaths, 1,500 injured and significant damage to infrastructure in Beira and surrounding areas. Nearly 140,000 people are currently housed in some 155 informal sites across Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia Provinces, according to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR).

Vibrio cholerae/CDC
Vibrio cholerae/CDC

In a follow-up on the cholera situation in Mozambique, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 1,052 cases of cholera in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. The vast majority of these (959 cases) are in Beira where one death has also been confirmed, followed by Nhamatanda (87 cases), UNICEF reports.  The disease is spreading rapidly.

Nearly 900,000 doses of the cholera vaccine, procured by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), arrived in Beira, Mozambique this week and the vaccination campaign will begin imminently.

Polio outbreak confirmed in Mozambique

Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by bacteria ingested via food or water. It spreads in areas that lack good water and sewage systems. It mainly affects low income countries.

With nearly 3 million cases of illness and 100,000 deaths each year, the disease continues to be a major public health problem. 1.3 billion people are at risk of infection in the 69 countries where cholera exists today.