Short Report – Special Collection: Climate Change

How did primary health care in Beira experience Cyclone Idai?

Christian L. Lokotola, Tibo Uyttersprot, Priscilla Felimone, Charlotte Scheerens
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 14, No 1 | a3626 | DOI: | © 2022 Christian L. Lokotola, Tibo Uyttersprot, Priscilla Felimone, Charlotte Scheerens | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 April 2022 | Published: 01 November 2022

About the author(s)

Christian L. Lokotola, Department of Family Medicine, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Tibo Uyttersprot, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Priscilla Felimone, Provincial Health Service of Sofala Province, Beira, Mozambique
Charlotte Scheerens, Department of Economics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium; and The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Bruges, Belgium


Beira, the biggest city of Mozambique’s Sofala province, was struck by Cyclone Idai on 14 March 2019, with devastating impacts. The floods along with the cyclone destroyed road infrastructure and health facilities and disrupted primary health care (PHC) service delivery. In addition, destruction of farmland and food stocks resulted in malnutrition; the abundance of water fostered the reproduction of mosquitos, exacerbating the burden of malaria; and problems with water and sanitation led to epidemics of cholera. The exact role and contribution of human-induced climate change is very difficult to quantify, but there is little doubt that climate change is driving more frequent and severe cyclones, such as Idai. Considering the current climatic changes, it is expected that climate hotspots such as Beira will only experience more frequent extreme weather events. In these settings, with high risks but low adaptive capacity, dedicated efforts are required to strengthen PHC with a focus on preparedness for disasters. This should entail community awareness and education, strengthening infrastructure and service provision, as well as collaboration with important stakeholders across other sectors.

Contribution: Using a case study approach, this article contributes climate resilient PHC for better preparedness to service continuity.


primary health care; climate change; cyclone; healthcare services; climate-resilient healthcare; adaptation.


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