Health Alliance International is excited to announce the launch of Project SPEED (Strengthening Provincial-level Epidemiological Expertise for Disaster response). Project SPEED, informed by the experience of Mozambique’s Cyclone Idai response, is designed to better prepare Central Mozambique’s health system to respond effectively to large-scale public health threats. Project SPEED is a new partnership between HAI and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), supported by CDP’s recently launched Global Recovery Fund.
Nine months ago, Cyclone Idai hit Central Mozambique resulting in intense infrastructural damage throughout Sofala and Manica provinces, including an estimated 240,000 homes and 94 provincial health units. In the direct aftermath of the cyclone, over 180 emergency relief organizations from 14 countries contributed to the disaster response, providing immediate relief and recovery across multiple sectors. This included Health Alliance International, who has worked in this region of Mozambique in partnership with National and Provincial Health Services for more than three decades.
However, Mozambique’s own Ministry of Health (MISAU), Provincial Health Directorate (DPS), and the National Institute of Health (INS) had the most important role in the identification of cyclone exacerbated health risks — responding to system gaps, and identifying investment priorities for the short-, medium-, and long-term recovery effort.
When the Center for Disaster Philanthropy expressed interest in supporting medium- to long-term recovery in Central Mozambique’s health sector, HAI engaged our model of public partnership to ensure the priorities and perspectives of MISAU, DPS and INS were incorporated into a proposal that would build resiliency and readiness within the public sector health system.
The result is Project SPEED.
Project SPEED will invest $150,000 in two core activities. First, Project SPEED will build provincial-level epidemiological surveillance capacity via the Beira Operations Research Center (CIOB). In the wake of Cyclone Idai, the region saw a substantial spike in epidemic-prone diseases such as measles, cholera, malaria, and dengue. By building surveillance capacity at the provincial level, this cyclone-vulnerable region will be better prepared to immediately track and respond to disease outbreak following natural or epidemiological disasters. Second, Project SPEED will repair and restock health facilities with medical equipment and durable supplies that have been identified and prioritized by the Provincial Health Directorates of Sofala and Manica provinces.
As we said from the moment the Cyclone hit, this region is HAI’s home in Mozambique, and we aren’t going anywhere. We are so pleased that the Center for Disaster Philanthropy is investing in the priorities of Mozambique’s public sector health system and that we get to be a part of this long-term, system strengthening work.
Project SPEED is a new partnership between HAI and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.