Emergency Field Hospital Opens, Expanding Medical Care in Mozambique

Emergency Field Hospital Opens, Expanding Medical Care in Mozambique

7th April 2019

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UPDATE (15 April): Just less than two weeks after opening our Emergency Field Hospital in Buzi, Mozambique, Samaritan’s Purse medical staff have treated over 1,600 patients and delivered 18 babies—opening a second maternal ward to meet the growing number of expectant mothers.

Delfina was terrified that she would have to give birth in the rising water when Cyclone Idai struck her home. She, her husband, and their three children were forced to stand in floodwaters for two days while they awaited rescue. “The roof of the house was blown away and then the water started flooding everywhere around. We stayed there too long waiting for help,” Delfina said.

With the local hospital still out of operation, Delfina had nowhere to go as she went into labour weeks later. She turned to the nurses at our Emergency Field Hospital for help, giving birth to a beautiful baby girl around 4:00 in the morning.

She expressed the pure joy of being so loved and cared for during her delivery process. “I appreciate the whole team—in particular the nurses that attended me,” she said. “I can’t imagine the way I am being treated—I have tears of joy.”

Please continue to pray for our medical staff on the ground in Buzi, Mozambique as they meet the continued need for medical care in these hard-hit areas.

Samaritan’s Purse has opened its Emergency Field Hospital in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai ripped through the African nation—leaving tens of thousands of people hurting both physically and emotionally. Our medical work is based in Buzi, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm’s devastating winds and flooding.

NURSE JESSICA LUTZ CARES FOR JOAO—OUR FIRST OVERNIGHT PATIENT AT THE EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL.

The new facility features an outpatient clinic, pharmacy, lab, operating room, and in-patient wards, including a maternity one for labour and delivery. It expands the capacity of the local Buzi hospital, which was damaged in the storm. During our first day of operation, Samaritan’s Purse medical staff cared for 111 patients suffering with illnesses such as high blood pressure, fever, whooping cough, and lacerations from the cyclone.

Joao was our first overnight patient, being treated for severe asthma and dehydration. During the cyclone, sand and wind began to overcome Joao and his son, so they started crawling on the ground to escape. The intense sand and debris caused Joao’s asthma to flare up but he didn’t know where to turn with many hospitals out of operation following the storm.

When he heard we were providing medical care at our Emergency Field Hospital, Joao walked several kilometers to receive treatment. While he is no stranger to hospitals, there was something about our hospital that stood out to Joao.

“I’ve never felt so safe and I’ve never been helped so quick. I am feeling much better with Samaritan’s Purse,” Joao told us.

Joao is a believer, yet he was moved by the way that Samaritan’s Purse nurses treated his ailments in Jesus’ Name. Referring to how our staff is ministering in word and deed, he said, “We can all sing, but not everyone can sing from the heart. It is actions that speak louder than words.”

Restored Faith After the Flood

While the Emergency Field Hospital was being constructed, Samaritan’s Purse provided mobile medical care to some 400 patients in the hardest-hit areas of Buzi and its surrounding villages. Nearly a month following the storm, dozens of patients continue to suffer from cyclone-related injuries and illnesses.

Antonio had never seen anything like last month’s cyclone. “There were the strong winds and then after the winds were the floods. It was like the end of the world,” he said.

THIS IS AN AERIAL VIEW OF OUR EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL, AS DEPLOYED IN BUZI, MOZAMBIQUE.

The cyclone and subsequent flooding destroyed his home—caving in the roof and knocking down walls. His only way to safety was to swim through the contaminated water. He came to the clinic seeking help for whooping cough and acute diarrhoea.

“I’m not feeling OK because of the flood. I was trying to swim in the water and I drank dirty water,” Antonio said.

While treating Antonio at the mobile clinic, Samaritan’s Purse nurses were able to treat his emotional wounds as well as his physical needs. His cousin was one of the hundreds of people who lost their lives in the storm.

His aunt lived near the river with her five children. When the river began to overflow and catastrophic flooding began to wreak havoc on the neighbouring villages, the family panicked and looked for any means of escape. “The kids climbed the tree to avoid flooding but the tree collapsed from the weight and the children were swept away. Four were found but one did not survive,” Antonio said.

His experience at the clinic helped him grapple with this devastating loss and reminded him that he is loved. “Here, I was cared for and helped. I would like to thank Samaritan’s Purse.”

Nurses treated Antonio in Jesus’ Name, and his faith in God was restored, even in the wake of the terrible storm. “A few days ago, I did not have faith. Right now, I want to go to church because God protected me.”

Refuge in the Storm

When Cyclone Idai struck their home, Infancia and her daughter Enes ran to the local church—seeking refuge in the sanctuary with several other families. “The storm started at 7 pm. while I was cooking dinner. I was very scared because it was my first cyclone,” she said.

THE PATIENT IN THE GREY SUIT IS BLIND AND WAS DELIGHTED TO RECEIVE HIS MEDICATION. NURSE CLAUDIA EVICK TAUGHT HIM HOW TO FEEL EACH PRESCRIPTION SO THAT HE CAN IDENTIFY THEM CORRECTLY.

The waters continued to rise, eventually flooding the church building and filling it with water. The families began to carry the children through the water and place them in the rafters of the ceiling to keep them safe. They were trapped in the flooded church for seven days.

When they finally returned home, their home wasn’t anywhere to be found. “Right now, we don’t have clothes, property, or a house. I am living at a church in an abandoned convent—it’s not yet home,” she said

Infancia and her daughter were both greatly affected by the week spent in contaminated water. “I felt very sick after the cyclone because the water, malaria, and coughing,” Infancia said. They came to the Samaritan’s Purse mobile clinic in search of medical care. “Enes fell in the water and now her eyes are yellow and she has a fever,” Infancia said.

Spending time at the Samaritan’s Purse clinic has not only helped with medical needs but also given her hope that she survived the cyclone for a purpose. “During the cyclone and floods, I had forgotten that Jesus exists,” she said. “Now, I believe that Jesus Christ saved me during the cyclone.”

Samaritan’s Purse is committed to saving lives, reducing suffering, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Mozambique. Please continue to pray for our teams on the ground providing critical medical care, emergency shelter materials, and water filtration units.

 

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