Cyclone Idai in Mozambique: Soccer Stars Help in Cholera Response

15 Apr 2019

Cases of cholera have been reported in Chingussura, on the outskirts of Beira, Mozambique and MSF staff have been working to support the Ministry of Health to care for patients inside the local health centre for over a week. Given the number of patients, the entire emergency room has been taken over by cholera patients meaning that people needing help following an accident or medical emergency must go elsewhere. In an effort to return the emergency room to normal, reduce the risk of the spread of cholera within the health centre and give patients more space to recover, MSF has been tasked with building a specially designed cholera treatment centre (CTC) on the football field across the road. When the local women’s football team heard about the plans they were quick to sign up to help build the CTC and help their community. This is despite the fact that it has temporarily taken away their training and match ground.

Text: This is what teamwork looks like. This Beira, Mozambique football team is helping turn their field into a treatment center for cholera. 

A cholera outbreak has been declared here after Cyclone Idai tore through the area followed by massive flooding.

Soundbite: The cyclone came in a way that we did not expect. It has affected everyone. It destroyed almost everything, including some houses. My name is Sílvia Emília Augusto. I like to play football because… hey, it was my dream since I was a child.

Soundbite: As an athlete, my dream is to play for Mozambique's national team. I also want to be like the football player Marta. I do want to meet her.

Text: Up to 100 cholera patients can be treated at one time on the team’s football field. It’s hot out and some of their homes have been damaged.

Text: But that’s not stopping this team from coming together to respond to the emergency.

Soundbite: I am happy to help, happy to be part of the project. I am learning many things too, and so are my teammates.