Mozambique: Mass vaccination campaign launched amid rise in cholera cases

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The aid-dependent impoverished country on Tuesday took delivery of 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines ahead of the roll out on Wednesday of the lifesaving inoculations to avert an epidemic, more than two weeks after the devastating cyclone hit and caused heavy flooding.

Supplies that will help stave off the growing threat of disease that many communities are facing, including clean water and mosquito nets, were also provided.

Over 500 cases of cholera have been reported in Beira alone.

A press statement released by World Health Organization on Wednesday said almost 900,000 people are expected to receive the vaccine from the GAVI- funded stockpile.

"Cyclone Idai's trail of devastation has left the city of Beira's water and sanitation infrastructure in ruins, providing the flawless conditions for cholera to spread", said Gavi CEO, Dr Seth Berkley.

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The cholera outbreak has grown swiftly since it was declared last week with five confirmed cases. "This cyclone has already caused enough devastation and misery across south-east Africa; we have to hope these vaccines will help stop a potentially major outbreak and prevent yet more suffering". "The important thing is to get sick people into treatment as soon as possible".

The 884,953 doses of oral cholera vaccine arrived in Mozambique on Tuesday.

Participants also discussed how to support a well-coordinated response, focusing on immediate humanitarian needs, as well as sustainable medium and long-term recovery and reconstruction in the aftermath of the cyclone.

They had saved "countless lives... preventing an even more devastating outcome", Ms. Mohammed told a meeting of the UN The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), while also warning while the storm had "flattened thousands of homes" and displaced more than 200,000 people, only $46 million of a $392 million appeal has been provided by the global community to date.

Since the beginning of 2019, more than 6 million doses have already been shipped to respond to outbreaks or address endemic cholera in many countries including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

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