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KZN floods: 318 autopsies, 80 healthcare facilities damaged, fears of disease

More than 80 healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal have been damaged by the floods that ripped through the province last week, leaving 440 people dead and another 4,400 displaced.

Thus far, 318 autopsies have already been performed, with another 58 outstanding, reports News24.

“Communities are encouraged to come forward to identify the bodies of their loved ones at the department’s medico-legal mortuaries,” said KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane. “Those who need counselling services are urged to get in touch with the KZN Department of Social Development.”

The extensive rain damaged the roofs, floors and fencing at a number of facilities – this as they were seeing increased loads of emergency and trauma patients as a result of the floods, reports The Citizen, adding that a State of Disaster has been declared in KZN. The provincial government says around R184m will be needed to repair the damage

Earlier in the week, hospital and clinic staff were forced to sleep at some facilities due to impassable roads and challenges in getting to work and back, while clinics were also being monitored for signs of water-borne or diarrhoeal diseases that might follow the many water shortages in various areas.

Damage to Umgeni Water infrastructure had cut off water supplies to a number of regions, while at Prince Mshiyene in Umlazi, 40 water tankers were used to address the hospital’s water shortages on Tuesday (19 April).

By Wednesday (20 April), operations at most facilities were back to normal, with the exception of Inanda Newtown A Community Health Centre (CHC). “This has had to completely close down due to the severity of the damage,” Simelane said. Patients were transferred to facilities in KwaMashu, Ntuzuma and elsewhere in Inanda. Mobile clinics were also operating in the affected areas.

She added that keeping a watch out for cholera and “diarrhoeal diseases” was imperative because of the lack of water. “This includes the inspection of potable water being transported by tankers, and in halls where displaced people are being housed,” she said.


News24 article – KZN floods: 84 health facilities damaged, R184m needed for repairs (Open access)


The Citizen article – KZN floods: 58 healthcare facilities damaged as eThekwini tries to restore water, electricity to areas (Open access)


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Mozambique launches cholera vaccination campaign


Storm-wrecked KZN hospitals repair bill close to R100m


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