Tropical Cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe with heavy rains and strong winds on the 15th and 16th of March 2019, severally ravaging the provinces of Manicaland and Masvingo in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country. High winds, flooding and landslides caused damage and destruction to roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and livelihoods. An estimated 270,000 people were affected, including 129,600 children, with over 50,905 individuals being displaced in various collective centres. 344 people were confirmed dead, 175 injured and more than 250 people are reported missing. With the reported missing still unaccounted for, the number of the dead runs into around 600 people.
Kidzcan Zimbabwe Intervention
Due to the need to fulfil stringent protocols in accessing the affected areas mainly in Chimanimani and Chipinge, Kidzcan got onto the ground late November 2019 and into December, utilising the US$4,000 sourced by Global Giving for the Cyclone Idai intervention. Authorities were clear in that any organisation wishing to provide intervention in the affected areas needed to carry out their mandate in terms of its registration to avoid too much duplication of roles. Kidzcan had earmarked the funds for the following:
Screening of affected children for Retinoblastoma and Wilms Tumour. Kidzcan had noted with concern that many children were presenting late at referral centres by which time it would be too late to serve the affected children’s lives. During the visit, Kidzcan screened 450 children for the 2 common childhood cancers with 5 being referred for further scrutiny at hospital centres for suspected cancer of the eyes and Kidneys. The screening process was carried out by health personnel taken to the centres by Kidzcan as experts in that area.
Kidzcan distributed IEC materials on childhood cancers to raise awareness, and demonstrate to the parents/caregivers how to use simple methods to detect Retino blastoma and Wilms Tumour.
As part of psychosocial support (PSS), which is one of the key Kidzcan pillars, over 200 blankets were distributed to the affected children and their parents/caregivers.
On behalf of the entire Kidzcan Staff and Board we thank you All for this great gesture and support. We would like to thank you for your support throughout 2019 and wish you All a Happy New Year for 2020 and may continue to support childhood cancers in Zimbabwe, where our theme is #nomoreborders.
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