Mobile clinics provide vital support after cyclones and help people prepare for future weather events

Mobile clinics offer better health surveillance during cyclones in Madagascar. Photo: WHO.

Madagascar | 2023 | CERF

Madagascar, Antananarivo. “A year ago, getting health care would have been a luxury,” explains Toky Rabemaharo, a leader from Marokarima commune.

“After the two cyclones hit, we couldn’t get to the health center.” Toky explains that his pregnant wife died, as did several other people he knew, from preventable complications.

“Today we have this ‘luxury’ again.”

With funding from CERF and other donors, WHO have deployed mobile clinics to give a million people access to health care in areas heavily affected by the cyclones, including in Toky’s community.

“The interventions of the mobile clinics have been of considerable value because they have helped restore healthcare services, especially vaccination services in basic health centers, and also covered areas that are usually inaccessible to healthcare, like remote villages and localities,” says Dr. Yasmine Laetitia Lydie, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health. “The mobile clinics have strengthened epidemiological surveillance, detection, and reporting of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Better prepared for the next emergency

In preparation for Cyclone Freddy in February 2023, some 17 doctors and laboratory technicians from the Fitovinany, Vatovavy, and Atsim Atsinanana regions, where water-related diseases had been reported after the cyclones, were trained to manage healthcare in a crisis, including blood transfusion services.

People living in high-risk areas were invited to join the eight accommodation sites set up for their safety before the cyclone hit.

Learning from the cyclone season of 2022, when medicine stocks were destroyed, WHO built a storage warehouse for essential supplies and medical equipment in Manakara to serve the three regions of the greater Southeast. The organization also provided kits, including medicines for malaria and diarrheal diseases, among others.

This year, before Cyclone Freddy arrived, healthcare teams were permanently present at each site to address any potential diseases and epidemics.

Despite the torrential rains and numerous floods caused by Cyclone Freddy, the country did not record any cases of diseases like cholera.

Original story: adapted from original articles by WHO.

More information about the CERF allocation to Madagascar.