Fiocruz have organized a task force in support of the Ministry of Health to provide humanitarian aid for the victims of cyclone Idai, which struck Mozambique on March 14. More than 1.85 million people were affected by the strong winds and rains. The number of victims could increase as the rescue teams prepare to contain outbreaks of diseases, such as malaria and cholera. The humanitarian aid effort is trying to assess the scale of the disaster and determine what kind of aid is the most urgent at present.
The vice-president of Production and Innovation in Health, Marco Krieger, was on a mission to the country, accompanied by a delegation, to establish contacts with authorities of the region and determine the main needs of the population and of the local institutions. In Rio, the President’s office have organized a meeting on March 28, which included representatives of various technical-scientific units, to determine the type of help that the units can offer, in colaboration with the International Affairs Advisory Board (Aisa) of the Ministry of Health.
For more than a decade, Fiocruz has been involved in projects of cooperation with Mozambique dedicated to local health issues, which include graduate courses in different areas and in-service training. Currently, twelve Mozambican students are taking graduate courses at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC) and the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectology (INI), at the Manguinhos campus.
On March 14, cyclone Idai reached Mozambique with winds of more than 170 km/hr and was followed by strong rains. Its passage damaged houses, caused floods and left 90% of the port city of Beira, the second largest in the country, in ruins. Then the cyclone struck neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi.