HAI’s Cyclone Idai Response: High-priority medicines where they’re needed most

Apr 9, 2019

On March 14, 2019 Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique’s port city of Beira, substantially damaging ~80% of local infrastructure and leaving the two central provinces of Mozambique in a state of emergency. In the days that followed, flooding, food shortages, and lack of secure housing continued to add to the overall public health burden of the cyclone.

With an established presence in Beira and 30+ years of experience working alongside local health authorities in the two most affected provinces, Health Alliance International was well positioned and ready to join the response.


HAI is partnering with Direct Relief–a US-based humanitarian aid organization with special expertise in disaster response– and other humanitarian agencies to help identify, import, and distribute high-priority medicines through the National Health Service in Sofala province, including Beira.

HAI staff are working with district and health facility leadership to identify facility-level needs which are being fulfilled by Direct Relief and shipped to Mozambique from South Africa. Once supplies arrive in Mozambique, HAI is coordinating their distribution via the provincial pharmacy system, making certain all supplies are inventoried and managed according to national protocols, and delivered to the facilities where the need was first identified.

The first 2+ ton shipment of emergency medical supplies included more than 200,000 defined daily doses of antibiotics, analgesics, oral rehydration solution, and deworming medicines. Subsequent shipments have included cholera treatment kits, emergency supplies, hypertension and diabetes medications, and other supplies with a total value of more than $5 million.

Communities in the storm-affected area were already burdened by many of the planet’s most pressing problems, from chronic and infectious disease to high rates of maternal mortality. People in the storm’s path must now shoulder those burdens under even harsher conditions – with transportation and communications disrupted, agricultural fields saturated with salt water, homes damaged, and livelihoods wiped out.


We are also working closely with Direct Relief to help prepare in advance for next cyclone season, so that supplies and medicines are even closer to the communities that need them, should another disaster strike.

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Photos Courtesy of HAI Staff and Direct Relief (Karoline Albuquerque)

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