BY VANESSA GONYE
HEALTH officials in Cyclone Idai affected areas in Manicaland province are recording increasing cases of malaria.
Speaking to journalists before a tour of the areas affected, Manicaland provincial medical director Patron Mafaune said many cases were reported in the
aftermath of the cyclone that left a trail of destruction in parts of the province and Masvingo in March this year, killing 634 people.
She said they had managed to take measures to quell all possible forms of health disasters, with malaria kits having been distributed.
“We managed to make use of the $2,4 million emergency response funds and established an emergency operations centre funded by the World Health Organisation for
a quick response to disasters,” Mafaune said.
“To date, we have distributed 61 266 mosquito nets, with a remaining 106 915 yet to be disbursed. This comes as a result of the high rate of malaria cases that have been reported after the cyclone.”
Mafaune said the province was well prepared for any health-related threats and has now put in place emergency disaster control measures, with primary health
kits that include HIV and chronic medicines readily available for future incidents.
“We successfully conducted an oral cholera vaccination campaign targeting all affected areas, reaching as far as Mozambique,” she said.
The country has had to deal with effects of the cyclone, with casualties from the nearby Mozambique frequenting clinics close to the border owing to their own country’s inability to provide accessible health for all.
The nationals, who travel for up to two days to reach the nearest clinic, Muchadziya Clinic, say service provision in Zimbabwe is better than back home in Mozambique.
“This clinic is the nearest health centre to people from Mozambique. They come daily in their numbers for different health care services. There is an increase in cases of diarrhoea and malaria though measures to quell it are being taken,” Muchadziya Clinic nurse-in-charge Tatenda Zuze said.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Ellen Gwaradzimba said progress had been made in addressing Cyclone Idai effects, with more still to be done.
“We are planning on refurbishing hospitals and clinics in affected areas as well as to build permanent hospitals at the temporary sites that were put up after the cyclone,” she said.