At least 99 people have died in the country after Cyclone Freddy tore through Malawi and neighbouring Mozambique. The Malawian government has declared a state of disaster in 10 districts that have been hardest-hit by the storm. Rescue workers are overwhelmed, and are using shovels to try to find survivors buried in mud. Officials at the main referral hospital in Blantyre said they could not cope with the sheer number of bodies that they were receiving.
Two Wheels for Life are committed to supporting the delivery of vital healthcare across Africa and support Riders for Health, known locally as R4H, in Malawi. The organisation focuses on transportation of samples and test results, ensuring the speedy diagnosis of conditions such as HIV AIDs and TB as well as the disposal of potentially hazardous waste from health facilities.
The programme has been affected since the cyclone hit with Riders for Health couriers amongst the tens of thousands whose homes have been destroyed since the cyclone hit. The organisation is now preparing for ongoing problems with staff and their families losing their homes, challenging road conditions, and loss of power for office staff. The UN and other agencies have warned that the timing of the storm could exacerbate a cholera outbreak.
We have set up an emergency fund to support Riders for Health Malawi programme so they can continue to provide life-saving services and to help to health workers and their families whose homes have been destroyed.