Cyclone Idai

Cyclone Idai and the longer term health threat from malaria

Cyclone Idai hit the coast of Mozambique on March 14 and subsequently moved inland affecting parts of Zimbabwe and Malawi and drenching these areas with rain causing extreme flooding and affecting some millions of people. There will be both a short term and a longer term health effect.
In the short term Scouts in these Countries can help survivors physically to move to higher ground and render other assistance where possible and there is the danger of water borne diseases like cholera and typhoid. The longer term effect of such downpours will be pools of stagnant water which make ideal breeding grounds for the anopheles mosquitos which carry the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.
What UK Scouts can therefore do is to increase their efforts to learn about the incidence of malaria, why bed nets will provide protection against these mosquitos and that by raising £5 per person, they too could save a life (and earn the SAM badge).
An even longer term concern is that this cyclone was the most severe to hit the Southern Hemisphere and this almost certainly due to global warming because of the difference between land and sea temperatures. So such devastating effects could occur much more frequently in future and not only in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rayner Mayer 23 March 2019