Mozambique Cyclone Survivors Face ‘Ticking Bomb’ Of Disease

People are escorted to safety by aid workers at the airport of the coastal city of Beira in central Mozambique on March 19, 2019, after the area was hit by the Cyclone Idai. ADRIEN BARBIER / AFP


The Red Cross warned Monday that survivors of a powerful cyclone that pummelled southern Africa face “a ticking bomb” of a disease even as aid workers reached those affected by the storm.

Cyclone Idai smashed into Mozambique’s coast, unleashing hurricane-force wind and rain that flooded swathes of the poor country before battering eastern Zimbabwe — killing 706 people across the two nations.

The head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Elhadj As Sy said “we are sitting on a ticking bomb” as he called for renewed efforts to address the worsening health situation.

READ ALSO: More Than 1,000 Feared Dead In Mozambique Storm

As logistical conditions improved and roads to affected communities have been reconnected, the full scale of the humanitarian crisis has been revealed for the first time since the storm struck on March 15.

More than two million people have been affected in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi where the storm started as a tropical depression causing flooding which killed 60 and displaced nearly a million people. Hundreds are still missing in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“The conditions for rescue are improving. Yesterday a road reopened which was really important to allow officials to work and rescue,” Mozambique’s Land Minister Celso Correa told reporters.

‘Children looking for their parents’ 

“We’ve got 30 missions flying today and some going by road so we can really deliver volume,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Sebastian Rhodes Stampa.

“We are packing food and shelter now — they will go out tomorrow both north and south”.

Stampa stressed that efforts to rebuild infrastructure damaged in the cyclone were temporary and not lasting repairs.

“They are repairing for now,” to allow aid through, he said.

Buzi, one of the worst hit towns located 30 kilometres (19 miles) southwest of Beira, became reachable by road on Monday — for the first time since the storm hit.

“It will now be much faster to deliver aid,” Stampa added.

Sy, who had just returned from the region, warned of a “high risk of water-borne diseases” like cholera and typhus — as well as malaria, which is endemic in the region.

The United Nations has also warned that stagnant water in many areas, decomposing bodies and the lack of sanitation in overcrowded shelters in Mozambique could create breeding grounds for such diseases.

The government has already identified some suspected but unconfirmed cases of cholera, Sy said.

“That is the reason why I am raising the alarm. Many of these water-borne diseases are a great risk, but they are preventable,” he added.

“The worst thing is the children crying and looking for their parents… It is heartbreaking,” he said, adding that it remained unclear how many children may have been orphaned.


Delta Govt. Fumigates Market Against Lassa Fever

Delta, Market, Lassa Fever DiseaseThe Delta State Ministry of Environment has taken precautionary steps to prevent the spread of diseases such as the dreaded Lassa fever.

The State Commissioner for Environment, John Nani, explained that the deadly effects of these diseases on residents of the state necessitated proper fumigation of the environment.

Mr Nani was briefing reporters on Thursday at the busy Ogbeogonogo Market in Asaba, the Delta State capital in south-south Nigeria.

He was at the market to oversee a fumigation exercise which they tagged “operation kill the rats”, in order to take preventive measures against the spread of Lassa fever and other related diseases.

The Commissioner stated that making sure the environment was safe and clean from rats was a sure way to achieve a disease-free environment in the state.

He said that the fumigation exercise would be extended to other markets and dumpsites, while urging residents of the state not to drop the guard against the deadly disease.

The traders at the market commended the effort of the government in keeping their environment safe from deadly diseases.

The Lassa fever is an acute illness transmitted through contaminated food by rodents’ urine and excreta.

NMA Stages National Campaign Against Obesity

NMA, ObesityThe Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says it has led a national campaign against obesity and other forms of unhealthy lifestyles for healthy living.

The Chairperson of the FCT branch of the NMA, Fatima Mairami, disclosed this during a road walk in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

She said that obesity and other forms of unhealthy lifestyles had claimed lives of professionals and non-professionals alike.

According to the medic, the campaign was targeted at creating public awareness on the need to engage in regular exercise and live a healthy lifestyle as one way to prevent the diseases.

15 million Nigerians suffer from chest-related diseases

No fewer than fifteen million Nigerians are currently suffering from asthma, tuberculosis and other chest related diseases.

The national president of Nigerian Thoracic Society; Professor Greg Erhosa announced this while briefing newsmen at an annual national conference of the society in Ilorin.

He attributed the high number of Nigerians suffering from asthma and other chest diseases to lack of preventive measures adding that the chronic disease has claimed lives of several eminent Nigerians and the downtrodden.

The need for the establishment of thoracic health centres in each of the six geopolitical zones in the country he believed would address the challenges while also urging the three tiers of governments to set aside funds for the prevention and care of the chest related disease