When the tropical cyclone Idai hit the coast of Mozambique in mid-March, the city of Beira was hit the hardest. With winds of over 160 km per hours, the cyclone caused great destruction in the port town. Some numbers indicate that 90% of the city (the fourth largest in Mozambique) was destroyed.
With flooding and displacement came cholera. As a means to detect and respond to the ongoing outbreak, a request was sent to the Norwegian Red Cross for the deployment of the CBS platform.
The platform was set up in 10 oral rehydration points (ORPs) around the city. Volunteers at each oral rehydration point were trained to detect potential acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) cases among those who came to the ORPs. At the end of each day, they sent reports to the CBS system with the number of potential AWD cases they had seen at the ORPs. These reports were analyzed by the CBS delegate in-country every evening and shared with MoH.
Since the implementation of the CBS platform, the number of cholera cases has decreased dramatically. The outbreak is considered to soon be over and there is, therefore, no need to monitor the cholera outbreak anymore.
Through the CBS platform, we received nearly 6000 reports from 10 ORPs in different communities in Beira. This gave us, the ministry of health and other partners important data about the outbreak to guide our decisions for response and activities.
The deployment to Mozambique also gave us the opportunity to see how useful and needed the CBS platform is in emergency contexts. By being able to get indications of what is happening at the community level, we are able to respond and assist where and when needed — thereby working effectively to limit outbreaks and save lives.
Bringing CBS to Mozambique would not have been possible without our two CBS delegates, Merete and Richard, who travelled to Mozambique to set up CBS and support the ORPs through the outbreak. It would also not have been possible without the tech volunteers and our great collaboration with our service provider, Dolittle. Within hours of receiving the request for CBS from Mozambique, Dolittle employees set up the CBS platform and got it ready to go! Throughout the deployment, they also provided continuous and round-the-clock technical support to those implementing the CBS platform in the field. For this, we, and the Red Cross in Mozambique are incredibly grateful!