The health authorities in the northern Mozambican province of Niassa have expressed their concern at a shortage of medicines in the provincial health units, due to cuts in the Niassa roads.
According to Cardoso Balate, the head of the Medical Assistance Department in the provincial health services, the cuts in the roads were caused by tropical cyclone Freddy which hit central and northern Mozambique on 17 and 18 March.
Right now, said Balate, interviewed by Radio Mozambique, the health service is trying to guarantee the transport of medicines and other basic goods to the most critical areas.
“We have some districts that don’t have operating theatres”, he said. “With cyclone Freddy, we had worrying situations where there were pregnant women who needed to be evacuated to health units with operating theatres. This was one of the great difficulties we faced”.
“With the support of some partners in the districts, we are making small means of transport, such as motorcycles, available to take medicines to the places affected, and where there are no bridges”, added Balate.
According to the health authorities, the cyclone destroyed or damaged 15 health units in Niassa, affecting about 150,000 users of the health service.