The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching the already fragile health system in Mozambique, where dozens of facilities destroyed or damaged by cyclones Idai and Kenneth are yet to be repaired. Diagnostic laboratory capacity for coronavirus cases is low in all provinces, and more personal protective equipment and training on COVID-19 management are needed.
At least 36 per cent of health facilities across Cabo Delgado have been destroyed and, by the end of the year, there were no functional health facilities in the districts hardest hit by conflict, including Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia, Muidumbe and Quissanga. This has reduced capacity to detect and respond to disease outbreaks, including cholera, measles and COVID-19, and to provide critical care, such as sexual and reproductive healthcare, immunization activities, access to anti-retroviral for people living with HIV and treatment for tuberculosis.
Based on the rapidly spreading nature of COVID-19 and weakness of the health system, there is an urgent need for enhanced preparedness, operational readiness, and response capacities to prevent, detect early and rapidly respond under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
UNFPA conducted four training sessions on COVID-19 case management in Sofala in December for at least 126 health professionals (61 males and 65 females). The training were conducted at the Beira COVID-19 Centre, Mafambisse Health Centre, Beira Central Hospital and Dondo Hospital.
At least 14 mobile brigades were trained on how to use the COVID-19 Real-Time Monitoring tool with the tablets. The technology will enable partners to send all the mobile brigade database electronically, reducing the chances of infections.
More than 6,900 women received mobile brigade services in December through nurses identified by Mozambican Association for Family Development (AMODEFA).
Health Cluster partners, in collaboration with the Provincial Directorate of Gender, Child, and Social Affairs (DPGCAS), organized activities in Buzi, Dondo and Nhamatanda between 27 November and 12 December to commemorate and raise awareness around the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls.
The COVID-19 response planned by the Government and partners (WFP – UNCEF) started in Cabo Delgado (Montepuez, Metuge, Chiure and Mecufi) and in Maputo and Gaza provinces (Inhaca, Matutuine and Chicualacuala). Health partners supported the Government in the development of the multi-risk contingency plan for points of entry.
WHO, in collaboration with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, Immigration and Police trained 120 participants on public health surveillance working in point of entry (airport, land crossing and ports) in Niassa, Cabo Delgado, Tete, Zambezia, Gaza and Maputo provinces.
Health Cluster Partners supported the expansion of diagnostic capacity with 7 out of 11 provinces having functional COVID-19 testing labs by the end of 2020. One PCR machine procured and delivered to National Institute of Health (INS) to increase the daily testing capacity.
At least 153 Mobile Brigades were conducted in Meluco District, reaching more than 6,500 women with sexual and reproductive health services.
To support displaced populations from the armed conflict, partners organized a training in Ancuabe for 25 traditional midwives from Macomia, Quissanga, Ancuabe, Metuge and Montepuez districts.
A training on Basic Essential Obstetric Care took place from 7 to 17 December 2020 in the facilities of the Rural Hospital of Montepuez. It was attended by 11 nurses from the districts of Metuge, Pemba, Montepuez, Chiure, Ancuabe and Mueda.
Additional security services for the health centres in resettlement sites are needed, as cases of destruction and theft have been reported.
Additional funds are needed to cover operational cost at province and district levels for field related activities.
Access to affected areas in Quissanga, Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia and Quissanga remains limited, with an urgent need to reactivate many of the referral chains that are no longer functional.