Cyclone Freddy aftermath brings diseases, healthcare gaps — Global Issues

Cyclone devastation in Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique has increased the spread of cholera and malaria, as well as malnutrition.

Meanwhile, more than 300 medical facilities were destroyed or flooded in three countries, limited access to health care.

Hurricane devastation increases public health risks including increased spread of cholera, malaria, malnutrition, COVID-19and other vaccine-treatable diseases.

The WHO says Malawi is still in the “worst ever” cholera outbreak, although cases are falling. In Mozambique, cholera cases have been more than doubled in the past week, to nearly 2,400.

With double landfall in less than a month, the impact of Hurricane Freddy was immense and profound,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Africa Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“While we work to understand the full extent of the devastation, The priority is to ensure that affected communities and families receive medical assistance for immediate needs as well Reduce the risk of waterborne diseases and other infections spread,

Helping communities prepare for climate hazards

Overall, floods and torrential rains affected more than 1.4 million people in the three countries. WHO and partners are providing support in the form of cholera treatment centers, medical supplies and training of health workers.

WHO has provided US$7.9 million and sent more than 60 experts to affected countries to support the emergency response.

About 184 tons of vital medical supplies were shipped to support the emergency response to cholera and tornadoes. In Malawi, WHO has reallocated cholera response operations centers to hotspot districts, to support disease control efforts.

“With the increase in climate-related health emergencies in Africa, it is clear that more needs to be done to increase preparedness for climate hazards so that communities can better cope with impacts about devastating natural disasters,” said Dr. Moeti.

Cholera outbreaks currently affect 14 African countries and are made worse by extreme climate events and conflict that leave countries more vulnerable. Many were forced to leave their homes, facing precarious living conditions.


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