Beira, Mozambique – The number of cholera cases in the cyclone hit Mozambique has risen sharply in communities hit by floods.
At least 1,428 people have been infected as the Mozambican government and aid agencies are trying to contain outbreaks, health officials told reporters in the coastal town Beira Tuesday.
The cholera outbreak has grown rapidly since 249 cases were reported last week. At least 376 new cases were discovered on Tuesday, most of them in Beira City, as the rate of infection continues to increase daily.
"We are very worried and therefore we have constant meetings with public institutions to prevent cases of cholera," Reto Eberhard of the Red Cross told Al Jazeera.
Two deaths have been reported in the cyclone-hit region, showing the Ministry of Health's record display.
Cyclone Idai crashed in Mozambique on March 1
The United Nations has said that about 1.8 million people need emergency humanitarian aid.
Officials of the Ministry of Health say they have intensified hygiene awareness and education campaigns in areas affected by the cyclone.
"We have trained people on hygiene, washbasins and other preventive measures in communities," said the National Director of Medical Assistance Usseine Isse to Al Jazeera.
"We have encouraged people to go to hospitals when they experience cholera symptoms. It is a dangerous disease and nothing to delay the treatment," Isse says.
Many health centers in the cyclone-affected communities have been swept away by flood waters, while the health centers run by relief organizations are hardly enough to support thousands of displaced peoples.
|More than 1,400 people have been affected by cholera in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai [File: Mike Hutchings/Reuters]|
The Ministry of Health and relief organizations are scheduled to launch a mass vaccination campaign on Wednesday to limit the spread of cholera.
The vaccination is aimed at about 900,000 people affected by the cyclone.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered oral vaccines.
"Cholera treatment centers are created to identify and treat all potential cases" UNICEF emergency manager Jean Manhes told Al Jazeera. "[Choleraisaseriousproblemcloselymonitored"saysManhes
Threats to infection Many poorly afflicted areas in Mozambique and nearby Zimbabwe are still inaccessible by road, complicated relief efforts, and further increased threat
Thousands of thousands of victims of the storm are at risk of infection due to water pollution, hea experts warn.
Aid agencies intend to increase their emergency when flood water falls and some roads reopen.
Kolera is endemic to Mozambique, which has had regular outbreaks over the past five years.
About 2000 people were infected in the recent outbreak that ended in February 2018, according to WHO.