Solomon Mukwenha, Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, Innocent Chingombe, Munyaradzi P. Mapingure, Godfrey Musuka. Health emergency and disaster risk management: A case of Zimbabwe’s preparedness and response to cyclones and tropical storms. We are not there yet!,
Public Health in Practice, 2021, 100131, ISSN 2666-5352, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2021.100131
Cyclones and tropical storms are important threats to public health faced by countries worldwide as they are associated with infectious disease outbreaks, unsafe food and water to mention a few. To help meet these challenges, the World Health Organization encourages countries to strengthen their capacities for health emergency and disaster risk management incorporating measures for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In this letter, we unpack the case of Zimbabwe’s preparedness and response to cyclones and tropical storms. Zimbabwe has been hit by several cyclones and tropical storms in the past two decades of varying magnitude and public health impacts. While the state of readiness and nature of response has improved over the years, we discuss the preparedness for and response to the 2019 Cyclone Idai to highlight the gaps that remain.