Beira, Mozambique: “They have lost everything, yet they want to live and help others to live again”
We are constantly receiving updates on the developing situation in the city of Beira. Particularly from on the two medical centers of Sant’Egidio, providing health services through the DREAM Program. The Polyvalent center, next to the town hall, and the center of Manga Chingussura, in the outskirt of the city, have immediately re-opened and are now helping more than 11,000 people.
The Polyvalent center was seriously damaged by the cyclone, as the whole neighborhood. From the first day 400 people who had lost everything found refuge in the center. Tragically, we are are aware of some elderly and people with disabilities, who lost their life in the attempt to reach it. Professionals and volunteers of Sant'Egidio were among the first to provide relief to all those affected, delivering food and basic necessities, already stored in the center's warehouse.
One of the volunteer has just written to us: Today a child came to the centre while we were giving out food. While he was waiting in line, he had a nervous breakdown and started crying, and started shouting "I'm hungry, I'm hungry”… - I saw people trying to wash themselves into puddles. We bought a 500 liter tank to provide clean drinking water. Tap water is now everywhere contaminated. Those who can afford can still buy but it is colored in yellow… - Yesterday, while organizing the food distribution, DREAM’s activists started singing beautiful African hymns… We started to cry… These people has lost everything with the cyclone, they have nothing to eat, nothing to drink, nowhere where to sleep, yet they are helping others in need and are still singing their praise to the Lord”.
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We are currently distributing oil, rice and flour. Moreover, health assistance was immediately re-activated to treat all those in need of medical assistance. In fact, the scarcity of drinking water is dramatically increasing cases of diarrhea, especially among children. We need to be as fast as we can to avoid the risk of cholera.
In a few days, the laboratory resumed all basic activities, providing pivotal clinical checks to face the major existing health problems, assisting 4,000 patients and supporting all the other structures now closed or partially damaged. The center of Manga Chingussura in Beira, partially damaged, is now a reference point for the entire area. The center, which usually treats 7,000 patients, was crowded with many other patients looking for refuge the first few days after the disaster. Again, there are several cases of diarrhea in need of treatment.
30 tons of basic necessities, food aid, water sanitizers and basic medical drugs (antidiarrheal and rehydrating for children) have been sent.
Yet, much more needs to be done. Please help Sant’Egidio to save lives in Mozambique, for Beira to live again. Thank you.
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