When Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique in March, it left behind displaced people surrounded by muddy waters and stagnant pools, with no access to safe, clean water. The cyclone thus created conditions ripe for a cholera outbreak, as well as ideal breeding grounds for the mosquito population and so increased transmission of malaria. Neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi were also hit by the cyclone with similar consequences. And then, while the country was still dealing with the impact of Cyclone Idai, Cyclone Kenneth struck Mozambique. This second cyclone put additional strain on the country’s resources and exacerbated the extent of the cholera outbreak and increased transmission of malaria.
In MISTRA’s forthcoming book, Epidemics and the Health of African Nations, Dr Kaka Mudambo’s chapter explores issues that lead to malaria outbreaks in the SADC region: environment and climate; politics; governance and demographics, and health systems. Mudambo shows how good surveillance systems and collaboration between countries can help SADC progress in containing malaria. He also explores the constraints on interventions that the region has already embarked on.