PLeDGE’s Mozambican Emergency Medicine Residents Assist in Cyclone Idai Relief Effort
In March 2019, with 20 minutes notice, two of our physician-trainees traveled to Central Mozambique, to an area devastated by Cyclone Idai, where they spent three weeks — without electricity or cell phone access — rebuilding a hospital that had been destroyed by the cyclone.
Brito Gulela and Ezio Messinga were in a party of 15 people including the National Director of Medical Assistance and the National Director of Public Health. 5 doctors, 5 nurses and 3 maintenance technicians. They were assigned to go to the Nhamatanda District in the Sofala Province, accompanied by a pediatric nurse and an epidemiologist.
In Nhamatanda, they were integrated in the local team and made the epidemiological evaluation of the district identifying critical areas, diseases with epidemiological potential such as diarrhea and definition of action plan. They supported the Nhamatanda rural hospital clinically, management of the diarrheal disease treatment center (CTDD) in mobile brigades for clinical assistance to populations in critical areas.
Brito and Ezio confirmed deaths in difficult to reach places, defined lists of support, and established contacts with the various non-governmental, international organizations such as WHO, Red Cross Canada and MSF France who, after our departure, supported the district in the light of identified needs.
This project is also having long-term impacts on day-to-day emergency care in Mozambique, through educational partnerships, training programs for Mozambican health professionals, and introduction of new emergency care processes.