The accommodation center, installed in the Boane Secondary School, southern province of Maputo to shelter the flood victims, still lacks health professionals to provide medical assistance.
Having visited the site, the Citizen Observatory for Health (OCS) found that, in case of illness, patients are forced to go to the accommodation center operating at Joaquim Chissano Secondary School, also in Boane town, where another service post has been installed.
The users, even ill, must walk to the post (about 500 metres), since there are no ambulances to respond to emergencies.
On the field, our team came across a sick lady with symptoms of cholera – diarrhea – vomiting and fever. Due to the high heat, the lady, named Elda Ivânia, refused to go to the post at Joaquim Chissano Secondary School, claiming that she was not in condition, even after being sensitized by the OCS team.
After the sensitization attempt was unsuccessful, the OCS team was forced to talk to those responsible for the reception center, alerting them to the risk of the lady passing the disease to other people with whom she shared the room, including children and pregnant women.
The Reception Centre of Boane Secondary School houses a total of 390 people, including men, children and pregnant women. Besides the need to allocate health professionals to assist the families, the victims still complain about the lack of mats and/or mattresses for accommodation. This situation contributes to an increase in cases of flu, as people have direct contact with the frozen floor.
Another concern for these families is the lack of school material for their children.
In turn, the center that had been installed in the 3 de Fevereiro Primary School, was closed after the OCS, in the first monitoring visit, found that it did not have a team of health professionals.
According to information provided by the school director, the conditions of the houses then flooded were not good for the return, but there are families who preferred to return because the Mozal Reception Centre lacked basic conditions.
Meanwhile, the reception center installed in the Complete Primary School of Mabanja, which also on the first visit had only one health professional, has improved significantly in terms of medical assistance.
Besides the three general medicine nurses, assigned to provide assistance 24 hours a day, the center has a psychologist, preventive medicine staff, environmental health and a health technician.
Vasco Luís, one of the nurses at the Mabanja centre, said that cases of diarrhea and malaria have already been registered and promptly treated and the appropriate medication prescribed.
AVAILABLE MEDICINES FOR CHRONICALLY ILL PATIENTS
According to the source, chronic ill patients are continuing with their treatment.
“We have hypertensive patients and others on anti-retroviral treatment. They have approached us and informed us that they lost their tablets with the floods and need to continue with their medication. For those who don’t have cards, we give them the medicines and a piece of paper so that they can present it to the health centers”, he explained.
He added that “we also have first aid kits. We are minimally prepared to attend to any situation that arises”.
To prevent the spread of cases of cholera, diarrhea and malaria, every morning families benefit from talks on the need to keep bathrooms and living rooms clean, taking into account all the care for personal hygiene.
Alice Zefanias, one of those welcomed at the center in Mabanja Primary School, expressed her satisfaction with the treatment she had been offered.
“Considering that we are in a reception center, I have no reason to complain because we have food, we have a place to sleep and when we get sick, we have assistance”, she stressed.
Besides the Ministry of Health (MISAU), the reception center in Mabanja has the support of Medicus Mundi, the Red Cross and the Ariel Glaser Foundation, the latter responsible for the installation of a mobile clinic.
Medical assistance has also improved in the Joaquim Chissano and Eng. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi Secondary Schools reception centers, with health teams ready to assist the victims.
For hygiene and cleaning issues, the families have organized themselves into working groups to ensure that the place is always clean.
Despite this organization, clothes, mats and other goods all remain mixed during the day, as illustrated in the photos below.
Otília Francisco Chauque, one of the victims in the reception center at Joaquim Chissano Secondary School, acknowledged that the rooms are messy, citing the limited space.
As for assistance, she said that everything is fine ” we usually have three meals during the day, in a varied way.” However, mats and blankets are not enough for all the families, so some people continue to sleep in capulanas and/or on the floor.
In his turn, Joaquim Borges, one of the health technicians at Joaquim Chissano, confirmed the improvement in the provision of health services, with the increase in the number of professionals and the supply of drugs for possible diseases.
Similarly to the center installed in Mabanja EPC, in the center of Joaquim Chissano Secondary School, there are chronically ill patients, who even without their respective cards, are receiving treatment.
“We have here a pediatrician, a nutritionist, a general nursing technician and other professionals to attend to all situations. We have medicines available and technicians ready to attend to patients for 24 hours,” he said.
The floods were caused by torrential rain that has been falling in recent days in the southern region of the country, associated with the opening of floodgates in neighboring South Africa and the Kingdom of Eswatini, causing the rise in the flow level of the waters of the Incomati and Umbeluzi rivers. As a result, several families have lost their property, including domestic animals, homes and crops.