The government says it remains committed to ensure that basic health care services are accessed by Cyclone Idai survivors as the health department rolls out an expanded programme for immunisation and new ARVs guidelines.

The aftermath of disasters like earth quakes, droughts or cyclones normally do not spare health conditions of the affected communities, with countries usually left battling diseases such as cholera, typhoid, malaria and HIV among others.

Those who are taking anti-retroviral (ARVs) and those taking drugs for high blood pressure normally default and unfortunately die when the supply chain of their medication is stopped.

After the devastating Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani and Chipinge, Manicaland Provincial Health Medical Director, Dr Patrone Mafaune assured the nation that her department is firmly on the ground to ensure basic health requirements are accessed by cyclone survivors.

Dr Mafaune also said following the swift move to put in place emergency roads, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has been able to distribute various medicines in Chimanimani and Chipinge with the cyclone survivors having a chance to access the new guidelines for ARVs starting on the 1st of May.

“We have ensured that the new ARV drug dolutegravir is accessed by survivors in Chimanimani. We have put in place a mechanism to improve service delivery,” Dr Mafaune said, adding that after the successful implementation of a cholera vaccination programme, the Ministry of Health and Child Care will embark on the catch up campaign for an expanded immunisation programme from the 12th to the 18th of May this month to ensure health services reaches all cyclone affected areas.

“We are going to embark on the expanded immunisation programme as we offer health services to Cyclone Idai survivors,” he said.

The response by the health department to assist Cyclone Idai survivors has been effective as no major health challenge has been experienced after the deadly cyclone struck the country in March.