23 January 2013

Mozambique: Despite Rains, Health Situation Stable in Maputo

South Africa's neighbouring country is warning of a national catastrophe as floodwaters continue to rise. With the number of casualties increasing, ... ( Resource: Mozambique Under Water )

Maputo — The Maputo City health authorities on Wednesday guaranteed that, despite the torrential rains of last week that flooded several of the city’s neighbourhoods, the health situation remains normal and there are no grounds for alarm.

Speaking at a press conference, the director of health in the city, Pascoa Wade, said that not a single case of cholera has been reported, and that there has been no increase in cases of other diarrhoeal diseases or of malaria.

However, the health authorities are recommending that people purify water before drinking it, and take measures to eliminate the pools of stagnant water that appear after rains, and which are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Wate said that cases of diarrhoea entering the city’s health units are monitored every day, and the figures show that the situation is stable.

Last week, the number of cases of diarrhoea recorded varied between eight and 14 a day, figures that are not regarded as worrying in a city of over a million inhabitants. On Tuesday only two cases of diarrhoea were reported.

“The situation is within what is regarded as normal”, she said. “The considerable increase in cases of diarrhoea and malaria expected for this period has not happened”.

According to the country’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), 3,960 people in Maputo have been displaced by the rains, and many of them are now living in the ten accommodation centres set up by the government in places such as schools and community centres.

The crowded conditions in the centres favour the spread of disease, and Wate said the authorities are carefully monitoring the situation.

“We have not yet had any cases of cholera, but we are on the alert”, she said. “We are carrying out daily checks, because flooding did take place and outbreaks of disease can occur if hygiene and health measures are not observed”.

To prevent the spread of malaria, spraying against mosquitoes has been undertaken in all the accommodation centres. Wate expected the spraying to end on Wednesday.

The authorities are also monitoring the availability of clean water, and are providing chlorine for water purification.

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