The UN has described Cyclone Idai as one of the deadliest storms to hit the Southern Hemisphere.
Idai struck in mid-March, causing catastrophic damage to provinces in central Mozambique. Torrential rain, floods and winds swept through Sofala, Zambézia, Manica and Inhambane provinces, as well as parts of neighbouring countries, Zimbabwe and Malawi, leaving more than 1000 dead and nearly two million fighting for survival. Within weeks, northeast Mozambique was battered by tropical cyclone Kenneth – the first time in recorded history two strong tropical cyclones have made landfall in Mozambique in the same season. Kenneth’s impact on health infrastructure has yet to be assessed.
Relief efforts are underway, but there’s much more to be done.
The emergency response has rightly been focused on food and shelter for survivors, as well as immediate health needs. However, in the longer term, the storm’s destruction means communities’ access to vital health services has been affected. Mozambique’s Ministry of Health immunisation programme has been implementing a health campaign in Sofala province, but is struggling because the area’s cold chain i.e. its network of vaccine fridges and cold boxes – which are used when local health teams go to communities far from health centres and vaccinate infants – has been seriously damaged or wiped out by the cyclone.
Nearly 2 million people are struggling to survive the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. By providing fridges and cold boxes to health workers, we can help immunise infants against life-threatening diseases.
Vaccines protect infants from disease – if their immune systems cannot fight infections, children are more likely to become seriously ill or die. Mozambique’s immunisation programme takes life-saving vaccines to communities.
Help us keep the immunisation programme going by replacing the fridges and cold boxes essential to safely store and transport vital vaccines. In the wake of Cyclone Idai, we plan to restore the cold chain so health workers can keep providing critical immunisation services.
54 solar fridges, 14 electric fridges, 61 large vaccine cold boxes and 361 small vaccine cold boxes have been destroyed. These items are crucial to make sure life-saving vaccines continue to be administered to infants in Mozambique in the their first two years of life.
Internal resources have managed to replace some of them - but with your help, we can replace the rest of the cold chain, and help communities and health services in Mozambique get back on their feet.
What we need:
- 12 solar fridges
- 12 electric fridges
- 48 large vaccine cold boxes
- 361 small vaccine cold boxes
Each solar fridge costs €7382 ($8250 / £6400), electric fridge €1834 ($2050 / £1600), small cold box for outreach €260 ($290 / £226), large cold box for vaccine transport between sites €87 ($97 / £76)
Costs include shipment to Mozambique.
Total: €208,628 ($232,946 / £181,234)
A bit about me and why I'm doing this
I have been working in Mozambique for the last eighteen years on public health projects, collaborating with the Ministry of Health. Currently I am working with the Ministry's immunisation programme which has been one of the main contributors to the country's improved child survival.
One of the challenges faced by the immunisation programme is ensuring vaccines are stored and transported safely and at the right temperatures - the cold chain. Many health centres do not have electricity, so solar fridges are needed. Many communities live far from health centres - so the programme takes vaccines to them, usually traveling for hours across difficult terrain.
Communities were already deprived before cyclone Idai hit, and health workers were already under-resourced. There is a funded plan which will, in the future, increase and improve the cold chain across the country so more and more health facilities are able to offer life-saving vaccinations. This plan was developed to strengthen the cold chain in areas of greatest need before Idai. If the resources from this plan are used to replace what Idai destroyed, it will be many more years before the immunisation programme has adequate cold chain capacity to effectively serve communities across the country.
I live in Maputo - hundreds of kilometres from the catastrophic impact of Idai - safe. The woefully under-funded Idai relief effort, has been compounded by cyclone Kenneth. I was keen to contribute somehow to the emergency response effort and believe replacing the cold chain offers concrete short, medium and long-term benefits. We are only buying equipment - funds will be used for fridges, cold boxes and transport to Mozambique and, of course, the fees of GoGetFunding and PayPal. Nothing else. If we can raise funds for even a portion of what we're looking for, this campaign will have been a success.