Mozambique cholera cases now above 1,400; vaccines arrive
Mozambicans lined up Wednesday to get cholera vaccines in the cyclone-hit city of Beira, at the start of a drive to inoculate almost 900,000 storm survivors as part of efforts contain an outbreak of the deadly disease.
The cholera outbreak has grown swiftly since it was declared last week with five confirmed cases.
Experts have warned that the destruction of drinking water sources and lack of sanitation in overcrowded shelters in Mozambique create breeding grounds for waterborne diseases such as cholera.
A vaccination campaign has been initiated by World Health Organisation and is supposed to start by Wednesday as 900,000 doses of Cholera vaccines are due to arrive in the city.
China's rescue team donated disaster relief equipment to health authorities of Mozambique on Tuesday in Beira, central province of Sofala, which was hit hardest by the devastating tropical cyclone Idai.
Sanitary water points and latrines are being constructed throughout Beira by the International Federation of the Red Cross, which has also established a field clinic in Macurungo, is constructing a field hospital in Nhamatanda and distributing relief supplies to 800 in Buzi, said the group's spokeswoman, Jana Sweeny.
The city of a half-million residents is most at risk from cholera but the disease also is reported in outlying communities in central Mozambique.
Large areas of standing water remain in the low-lying region, which continues to drain after the cyclone swept in on March 14 and caused massive flooding.
Cholera is spread by contaminated food and water and is endemic in the region.
Monday's count of cholera cases had been 1,052.
Authorities say the death toll in Mozambique from last month's cyclone has risen to 598, while humanitarian workers race to contain a cholera outbreak in the storm's wake.
Cyclone Idai killed more than 700 people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and left hundreds of thousands homeless - many of whom have since had no choice but to use dirty water supplies.