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Photo Credit: Voice of the Cape

MTN SA has joined the global drive to assist survivors of Cyclone Idai which has displaced millions of people and led to the loss of hundreds of lives in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

To support relief efforts in areas that have been worst effected, MTN has pledged R500 000 to Doctors Without Borders, a reputable emergency medical humanitarian organisation.

This contribution will be used to provide emergency medical assistance to the survivors of the massive floods. Doctors Without Borders has already dispatched emergency medical teams to Mozambique, and has set up a mobile clinic in the coastal city of Beira, one of most severely affected areas. More than 90% of the city of Beira has been destroyed, with Beira Hospital and 17 healthcare centres reporting severe damage. Over 202 deaths and 1500 injuries have been reported in this city alone.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by Cyclone Idai. The devastation left in its wake is a tragedy that will be felt for generations to come. A human calamity of this magnitude calls upon all of us to assist in whichever way we can to alleviate the challenges being faced by those impacted. At MTN, we felt that the least we could do was to make a speedy contribution,” says Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager: MTN SA Foundation.

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The donation will also go towards assisting Doctors Without Borders to improve capacity at their mobile clinic, install makeshift roofs at two healthcare centres and dispatch more medical and other essential supplies to areas that are adversely affected.

The United Nations announced that some 1.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian support. The imminent threat of hunger and more infections from water-borne diseases like cholera and malaria remains a major concern. The Mozambican Health Ministry has listed the rate of cholera infections at 200 a day. The World Health Organisation has promised to provide 900 000 doses of cholera vaccines to assist in curbing the outbreak.

“We are encouraged and touched by the outpouring of support from South Africa – ranging from individuals and non-governmental organisations to other corporate companies. At MTN, we hope that our contribution will, in some small way, improve the ability of emergency medical teams to offer much-needed support to the survivors, many of whom are the most vulnerable members of society, including women, children and the elderly,” concludes Mtunzi-Hairwadzi.