Beira, 6 May 2019 - Every year the Ministry of Health of Mozambique launches Health Week in Mozambique, together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as main partners. Today, the launch was marked by the constraints following Cyclone Idai in the four most affected provinces: Sofala, Manica, Inhambane and Zambezia.
The plan during the Health Week for the emergency response targets 435.000 children under 5 years old and girls and women in reproductive age (15-49 years), as well as man. The intervention package will include measles, rubella and polio vaccines; vitamin A, deworming, nutrition screening, Iron and folic acid supplements, for adolescent, mother and child health, anti-natal care and family planning.
Dr Priscila Filimone, chief medical officer at provincial level representing the government of Sofala marked that the most relevant thing now it’s to “increase the vaccine coverage and the provision of health services following Cyclone Idai”.
During the opening, Néllia Mutisse, WHO Health Operations in Beira, emphasizes that all mothers, fathers and educators “should encourage the community to participate in this campaign in order to guarantee the protection of the community and to prevent new outbreaks in the coming days”.
Rosa witnesses how her first child, Omer Meke, is now protected against polio and he received also the nutritional screening “I am the first one in the cue and he is a bit scared but he will be protected for a long period and that is all I want”.
She was only one of many families that will benefit from this health package: Polio Vaccine for children under 5 years old, measles and rubella for those age 9 to 59 months old, and Vitamin A provided to every child from 6 months to 5 years old.
The package also includes deworming with Mebenzabol, nutritional screening and supplement with ferrous salt and folic acid to prevent iron deficiency and folic acid deficiency during pregnancy.
The National Deputy Director for Public Health, Maria Benigna Matsinhe, mentioned that this week aims to “reinforce the health interventions offered in the Health Units, replicating the efforts made in response to the health emergency following Idai”.
WHO team deployed in Beira accompanied the launch and they took also the occasion to visit as well the nearby resettlement centres that are being built to accommodate the displaced people in this reconstruction phase after Idai.
Dr Solomon W. Fisseha, WHO Incident Manager in Beira, indicates that WHO and partners have still a long way to go in order to secure decent accommodation, therefore WHO will “continue advocating and looking for the system strengthening. works to create space in a relatively safe area”.