The Canadian Red Cross has deployed an emergency field hospital team to Mozambique to care for communities devastated by Tropical Cyclone Idai. Doctors, nurses, and technicians will make up the team consisting of 25 aid workers at the Canadian Red Cross hospital in Mozambique. The destructive cyclone pummelled through the Mozambique port city of Beira - the country's fourth largest city - on March 14th, and then passed through surrounding regions, including Zimbabwe and Malawi.
With the cyclone disrupting the operation of primary healthcare services, the population in need of medical care in Mozambique has peaked to 1.85 million, Global News reports. Having sustained tremendous damage and losing electricity, regional medical facilities are now dependent solely on Red Cross generators in order to continue providing services.
Workers and patients are currently exposed to harsh environments that possess a high risk of waterborne diseases, like cholera and malaria, as stagnant flood water has engulfed the area.
Once the team arrives in the southern African nation, Red Cross workers will prioritize urgent-care patients. Ultimately, the fully-constructed hospital will be equipped with an operating theatre, a maternity ward, and several consultation rooms.
The hospital team is made up of experts in the fields of medical care, logistics coordination, and emergency response team leadership. A wide variety of services will be offered by the hospital, including first aid, surgery, advanced life support, overnight care, mother and child health services, and psychosocial support.
Global Affairs Canada revealed in a statement that Canada is sending $3.5 million to southern Africa, which will provide "life-saving humanitarian assistance" and relief to victims of the horrific disaster.
According to Chiran Livera, Operations Manager at the Canadian Red Cross, "Cyclone Idai has caused the biggest humanitarian crisis in Mozambique's recent history, even when the full extent of the damage is not yet known."
"Unfortunately, we know that some of the biggest health challenges are still to be overcome. The Canadian Red Cross, with the support of our partners, will be providing vital medical support to alleviate the tremendous strain that has been placed on local services, including nurses and doctors who have been working non-stop to provide urgent care."
"Some will be in critical, life-threatening situations. Some will sadly have lost their livelihoods, which whilst an appalling tragedy is not immediately life-threatening," reads a statement from the press release.
So far, approximately 686 lives have been lost in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Tens of thousands of residences have been destroyed, leaving even more displaced with nowhere to go.
"We can determine the size, we can’t determine the circumstance. So we’re now going out on the ground, dropping people off from helicopters to determine what the critical needs are," Stampa told reporters.