Luisa, the Mozambican who fled as her house was burned down in South Africa
The chairman of the Manhiça Foundation, Leonardo Simão, says the government is reviewing the process of building infrastructure and roads to make them more resilient and minimise the impact of cyclones on the population.
“Nothing can be done to stop the cyclonic winds, but what can be done is to minimise their impact on people, so that the number of victims is lower,” the doctor and former health minister said on the sidelines of the 5th National Congress of Tropical Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal.
Simão recalled that, before Mozambique was hit by Cyclone Idai about a month ago, such phenomena were already recurrent, with extreme events repeating approximately every ten years, each one “always worse than the previous one”.
“This is why the government is reviewing the entire process of building infrastructure, roads and health facilities to make them more resistant to these impacts,” he said.
He also pointed out that Mozambique is affected by tropical diseases, especially communicable diseases, and that “capacity building and training Mozambicans to participate more in the search for solutions to diseases is fundamental” in the face of a “great challenge that will last for many years”.
The head of the Manhiça Foundation said that Cyclone Idai had increased the incidence of tropical diseases, and not only cholera but malaria and other water-borne diseases associated with the ecological damage that occurs in this type of natural catastrophe too.
“The work has already begun. The authorities are carrying out an intense vaccination campaign against cholera and our participation is relevant to gaining more and more strength for this fight,” he said.
On the other hand, he admitted the difficulty of responding in a totally satisfactory way to the problem, given the complexity of the situation and the lack of means. “We do what is possible with what means we have.”
According to the latest assessment by the Mozambican authorities, the cyclone caused 602 deaths and 1,641 injuries, affecting more than 1.5 million people in central Mozambique.Source: Lusa