Cyclone Freddy: UN alerts on potential cholera epidemic


The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidisco Rebecca Moeti, has sent a warning signal to countries affected by the Cyclone Freddy about potential cholera breakout.

The alert from WHO’s Regional Director for the increased risk of cholera is coming on the heels of the devastation caused by Cyclone Freddy, particularly in Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique.

The media reported that the Cyclone Freddy killed about 500 people and displaced thousands in Southern Malawi.

“The cyclone has left an appalling humanitarian situation in its wake. More than 300 health facilities, including university hospital centers have been destroyed or flooded in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique, leaving communities without adequate access to health services.

“The extensive damage, flooding, and torrential rains have affected more than 1.4 million people in the three countries and stretched the limit, the capacity of health systems,” Dr Moeti said. The media also reported that Malawi was already battling its deadliest cholera outbreak on record when the storm landed, even as the epidemic
has killed more than 1,700 people, according to reports.

“We have shipped nearly 184 tonnes of laboratory, treatment and other critical medical supplies to boost the cholera outbreak response, and we have decentralised this response operation to hotspot districts,” Dr Moeti added.

According to the UN, over a million people have reportedly been affected in Madagascar and Mozambique, with more than 160,000 people internally displaced.

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