The Red Cross field hospital in Nhamatanda, Mozambique has reached a major milestone. After two months of operation and more than 200 patients, the last cholera patient has been discharged from the Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU). Ten-year-old Sebastiana was in the CTU for three days after being admitted for a severe case of cholera. On Saturday, she got to go home.
 
Sebastiana with her mother, AnnaThe Cholera Treatment Unit is a scaled-down version of the larger 60-bed treatment centre that was first opened in early April. In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, cholera was identified as one of the key concerns and the treatment centre filled a gap created when the cyclone damaged Nhamatanda District Hospital and affected services. The centre also helped staff respond to a drastic increase in patients at the height of the cholera outbreak that followed the storm. Going forward, treatment for any future cholera patients will be integrated into Nhamatanda District Hospital.
 
This is the result of a collaboration between the Red Cross and Nhamatanda District Hospital to increase the hospital’s ability to treat severe cases of cholera. In addition to Red Cross aid workers providing support and mentorship to local doctors, which will continue in the coming months, the team has also supported rehabilitating certain areas of the hospital.
 
Future cholera cases will be treated in a new infectious disease ward that has been outfitted with the necessary equipment to treat the disease. Dedicated latrines have also been built to ensure proper sanitation practices in the event of a future outbreak.
 
Sebastiana’s mother, Anna, is grateful for the medical staff who treated her daughter. She explains through a translator that Sebastiana’s was “a severe case, and it is not always easy to treat these kind of diseases. I’m so happy that she’s feeling better.” The family is fortunate that they live only a five-minute walk from the district hospital.
 
And Sebastiana? She’s just happy to get home and play with her friends.
 
On March 15, 2019, Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, affecting over 1.8 million people, destroying approximately 111,000 homes and half a million hectares of agricultural land. The Canadian Red Cross responded by sending a field hospital, and supporting staff, to Nhamatanda in collaboration with the Finnish Red Cross and with the support of the Norwegian Red Cross.
 
The field hospital is made possible with the generous support of donors and the Government of Canada.