Slight Relief in the Mozambique Flood Region

by Joachim Panhans,  2007/03/02

Mercy Air, a long-standing partner of humedica, took over many transports in the relief area.

The humedica doctors are the only foreign medical personnel in the region. Together with partners Operation Blessing, Mercy Air and NCM, humedica is continuing its care of the flood victims.

Kaufbeuren/Maputo (lr). After four weeks of rain and flooding in the flood plain in Mozambique, conditions have begun to improve. Relief workers have been on location since February 12, distributing food and administering medical care to those who fled from the rising water to higher-lying regions. So far, the number of homeless is estimated at over 160,000. On February 26, the country declared a state of emergency as a result of a Tuberculosis outbreak. Alone in the past year 35,000 people were infected with the disease, and the hospitals don’t have the ability to treat everyone, explained Health Minister Ivo Garrido.

After returning from his two-week relief mission, humedica medical team member Dr. med. Hans-Arnold Breuer (Solingen, Germany) reported that the only possibility to deliver relief supplies to many people was by air. The roads leading to those cut off were under water in more than one place. Breuer, who has been retired for two years, and two additional medical assistants from the city of Caia in the northwestern part of the country, flew by helicopter to visit and medically treat those trapped by the water. He also stopped at four other refugee camps on the main road, in order to provide some basic medical treatment.

The people – especially the children – suffered from respiratory problems, said Breuer, who was the director of the children’s clinic at the Klinikum Solingen (Solingen Medical Center) for 27 years. But he also treated patients for dysentery, worm infestations, malaria and cholera.

That the Mozambicans drink the dirty river water, the spread of diseases is to be expected. During the last few days of his operation in the west-African country, Breuer experienced the effects of a Cyclone which came from Madagascar. Even though it had been weakened by the coast, an enormous amount of rain still fell. In a matter of minutes the tents were filled with water and the entire inventory was drenched, he recounts.

At the end of February, Breuer flew back to Germany with two nurses. On February 23 four medical personnel traveled to Caia in the Sofala district in order to take over.

Together with partner organizations NCM (Nazarene Compassionate Ministries) and Operation Blessing, additional humedica employees are helping with the distribution of food stuffs, which were received from the World Food Programme. In delivering a number of these food supplies, the use of airplanes and helicopters has also been necessary. humedica intends to help distributing these supplies through the end of April, by which time a noticeable receding of the floodwaters is expected.

The German Foreign Office has donated 208,000 Euro to humedica for this mission. But humedica is also dependent on support from the general public as well.

Make a donation!

humedica partners in Mozambique:

NCM: http://www.ncm.org/

Mercy Air: http://www.mercyair.org/

Operation Blessing: http://www.ob.org

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