5 years after Cyclone Idai: Thousands of people in Mozambique still in need of primary health care - Doctors of the World

5 years after Cyclone Idai: Thousands of people in Mozambique still in need of primary health care


In Sofala province, one of the regions most affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019, thousands of people continue to live in resettlement centres and need support in accessing essential services. Over these five years on the ground, Doctors of the World has been providing primary health care to more than 2,300 families, with a total of nearly 8,500 people. 


Five years ago, on the 14th and 15th of March 2019, Mozambique’s Sofala province was hit by the powerful cyclone Idai, which then spread to other regions of the country, causing 602 deaths, 1,641 injuries and more than 1,85 displaced people, with enormous consequences that are still reflected today in the lives of many.    

Immediately after the storm, MdM Portugal went into the field, together with other national and international organisations, to respond to the most essential needs of the population. Our organisation is still in Sofala province, providing primary health care as well as sexual and reproductive health consultations, maternal and child surveillance and vaccinations to more than 2,300 families, totalling almost 8,500 people, in four resettlement camps.

Half a decade following Idai, the populace remains extremely vulnerable, relying on humanitarian aid to fulfill essential requirements exacerbated by pervasive poverty, fragile infrastructure, and the ongoing impact of climate change, marked by recurrent floods and tropical cyclones.

It is necessary to continue this response to the enormous needs of the Mozambican population, guaranteeing access to primary health care, promoting health literacy and community empowerment, investing in the training of health professionals and contributing to the strengthening of health infrastructures,” emphasises Carla Paiva, executive director of MdM Portugal.

To achieve this, it is essential to strengthen development cooperation, mobilise more funds and ensure that the efforts already made have not been in vain, which is only possible with regular support for the organisations’ projects and the excellent work done by the teams on the ground,” she adds.


More than 63,000 medical consultations in five years


After initially responding to the emergency in 2019, MdM Portugal assumed coordination and support responsibilities for the Ndeja resettlement center. This center, situated adjacent to the village of the same name in the Nhamatanda district of Sofala province, resettled 402 families, comprising a total of 2,344 individuals. Today, the organisation has extended its intervention to three other camps – Kura, Metuchira and Nune – providing healthcare to a total of 2,344 families, corresponding to 8,466 people.

Over the course of five years, MdM Portugal has provided more than 63,000 medical consultations to children and adults, particularly in family planning and sexual and reproductive health, and nearly 19,000 growth assessment consultations to children between the ages of 0 and 15. In addition, more than 3,200 clinical referrals were made to specialised health services, more than 600 births were carried out and around 23,000 vaccines were administered to children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age.

The organisation’s intervention is not limited to providing health care, but also includes strategies  for capacitation and empowerment activities for the population, as well as training for local health professionals. Between 2019 and 2023, the organisation promoted 2,253 health sessions and 84 cooking demonstrations and trained 151 health professionals and 20 activists.