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HomeNewsCYCLONE IDAI: Govt to deploy pathologists to Mozambique

CYCLONE IDAI: Govt to deploy pathologists to Mozambique

GOVERNMENT will deploy a team of pathologists to Mozambique in June to start the exhumation and repatriation of more than 157 Zimbabwean nationals who were swept away by the Cyclone Idai floods in 2019, for re-burial back home.

Scheduled deployments have been necessitated by the escalated relations with Mozambique from the Permanent Joint Commission chaired by Ministers of Foreign Affairs to a Bi-National Commission co-chaired by Presidents Mnangagwa and Felipe Nyusi.
The developments were revealed by the director of the Department of Civil Protection, Mr Nathan Nkomo, when he gave remarks during the commemoration of World Health Day in Harare on Friday.
This year’s commemorations were running under the theme, “Our planet: Our health”.
Families of the victims of Cyclone Idai gave testimonies in which a number of concerns were raised.
Mr Nkomo said the Government had restored damaged infrastructure like roads, amenities and homes to relocate the affected families.
He said the re-burial process was going to led by the Ministry of Health and Child Care with assistance from the uniformed services.
“As for the exhumations and re-burial, we could not go to Mozambique, it was a diplomatic issue,” said Mr Nkomo. Only two months ago we had that Bi-national commission with Mozambique and finally two weeks ago we were granted the permission to go to Sussundenga and start exhuming our 157 people who are still in Mozambique.
“I am happy the Ministry of Health and Child Care has put in place a team which will be led by pathologists through the department under Dr (Maxwell) Hove, the Chief Director Curative Services.
“That team is already in place which includes our uniformed forces to go and undertake what I think is an arduous exercise in the Dombe district of Sussundenga,” said Mr Nkomo.
He said they had agreed that in June they will resume the operation, reminding people in the affected areas to co-operate with officials when they visit their places for collection of samples to assist in the process.
“There will be a team visiting Ngangu and Kopa to collect more samples so that when they go and do some DNA tests they will be using various samples collected from those who lost their relatives,” said Mr Nkomo.
The Chief Director of Public Health, Dr Munyaradzi Dobbie, led the World Health Day celebrations on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Dr Dobbie said this year’s theme, “Our planet: Our health”, is apt as the link between the environment and health cannot be ignored.
He said extreme weather events, land degradation and water scarcity are displacing people and affecting their health.
“Floods also bring with them other health problems such as malaria and diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr Dobbie.
“Zimbabwe is also prone to droughts, which create hunger and malnutrition among our communities.”
Zimbabwe’s health system is being transformed to match best international practices as a prerequisite for an upper middle income society.
The process of transforming the health system has won several international endorsements following the country’s comprehensive response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
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