Mozambique's response to cyclone Idai: how collaboration and surveillance with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions were used to control a cholera epidemic

Infect Dis Poverty. 2020 Jun 16;9(1):68. doi: 10.1186/s40249-020-00692-5.


Cyclone Idai, which hit Mozambique in March 2019, was one of the worst climate-related natural disasters on record in the Southern Hemisphere causing massive destruction of housing and disruption to vital infrastructure including the electrical grid, communications and water supply. Almost two million people were affected with over 600 deaths, hundreds of thousands of people displaced accompanied by rapid spread of cholera. We describe emergency measures taken by the Government of Mozambique, in collaboration with multilateral partners, to establish a real-time disease surveillance system, implement interventions recommended by a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) taskforce and rapidly scale up a massive community vaccination program to control a cholera epidemic.

Keywords: Cholera; Cyclone Idai; Disaster; Disease outbreak; Mozambique; Sanitation; Water supply.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Cholera / epidemiology*
  • Cholera / prevention & control*
  • Cholera Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Communicable Disease Control / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cyclonic Storms*
  • Epidemics*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Mozambique
  • Sanitation
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Water


  • Cholera Vaccines
  • Water