PQMD Members Responding to Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi

Considered one of the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa

Tropical Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi on March 14, bringing persistent rain and devastating flooding. The death toll climbed to over 700 last week and is expected to rise as more rural areas are accessed. Many areas are without electricity and access to clean water. Several health care facilities were destroyed in the cyclone, and officials are now concerned about an outbreak of cholera. The cyclone is considered one of the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa in recent history.

PQMD members are responding through providing funds and supplies and partnering to address the continuing response to the cyclone’s destruction. PQMD members Bristol Meyers Squibb and Glaxo Smith Kline are providing financial support for relief efforts by PQMD members and other organizations in the affected region. Johnson & Johnson is considering product donations and funding to support product distribution and Pfizer is working with its South Africa office to determine next steps. Tulipe has transferred 2.5 tons of medical products in order to provide a solid basis for first aid. This donation is primarily intended for health authorities who will distribute medical products in health centers in impacted regions.

Many PQMD members are deploying teams and supplies across the three affected countries. Americares, Direct Relief and International Medical Corps are working with staff in Maputo to identify local partners and assess primary health and hygiene needs. Direct Relief is providing shipments of medicine, medical supplies and hygiene to local health departments and created a map of affected health facilities. Americares is also conducting partner outreach in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Heart to Heart International is sending supplies to established partners and is sending an advance team to the area to oversee product distribution and assess needs. International Medical Corps is in Zimbabwe distributing hygiene and assessing urgent needs in the area and is also monitoring the situation in Malawi. IMA World Health sent hygiene kits and other supplies to a partner in Zimbabwe recently and are now directing those materials to communities most affected by flooding. They are also determining next steps to provide response in Mozambique. MAP International is also sending hygiene kits. World Vision’s presence in the three affected countries is assisting their response. Their offices in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are distributing emergency food, tarps for shelters, mosquito nets and chlorine for water treatments, in addition to other supplies. World Vision Zimbabwe and Mozambique are distributing non-food items including pots, blankets, buckets and other supplies, and World Vision Mozambique provided a 10,000 liter water storage tank. Staff are also en route to assess and support the response.

International Health Partners UK is also determining response steps for Mozambique and is focusing with partners on Zimbabwe. They are prepared to deploy essential health packs to partners responding and have provided two Emergency Health Essentials Pack for the response of fellow PQMD member Medical Teams International. Medical Teams International has a team assessing needs in the area and is working to provide primary health care and prevent the spread of cholera and malaria. They have a volunteer roster of nurses and doctors on standby for deployment. MedShare is officially responding to Cyclone Idai and is working to move aid to all three affected countries through medical missions and through airlink shipments partnered with World Vision on the ground in Mozambique. Project HOPE has a team of emergency responders and medical volunteers in Mozambique and is working on shipping requested medical supplies. They are potentially collaborating with newest PQMD member IsraAID, who has a medical team in the region. IsraAID is also planning mental health response and distribution of hygiene supplies for households.