29/04/2015. Members of the Gift of the Givers pack their gear after arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal. Picture: Masi Losi
DURBAN - Gift of the Givers medical team leader, Dr Qasim Bhorat yesterday told of his experience in Mozambique, days after Cyclone Idai claimed the lives of many people and left others in desperate need of aid and medical attention.

The cyclone which hit the region on March 15 has affected 2.6 million people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi; and claimed the lives of more than 400 people while leaving hundreds of thousands without shelter.

Bhorat said air rescue in Beira, is the only option in the inaccessible areas.

“There are many pockets of flooded areas with people still stuck on roofs and trees,” he said.

While in Estaquina, an area near Bizo, where the Gift of the Givers has a second team, said Bhorat, rescues are being conducted mainly by water.

“Using our boats the Gift of the Givers team with the support of local farmers, have rescued close to 2100 people,” he said.

Bhorat said in collaboration with the South African Defence Force, people stuck in flooded areas were rescued and relocated to the government clinic at Gwaragwara.

He said an additional specialised medical team was mobilised including GPs, orthopaedic surgeons, gynaecologists, paediatricians, dietitians and others.

“They will fly to Beira and be deployed to Estaquina, where approximately 6 000 people are severely affected, and take along additional supplies and over 500kg of medicines,” he said.

Meanwhile, British Airways will be giving all money collected through its Flying Start charity to support those affected by the cyclone .

Holly Gray, British Airways community investment manager, said that for the next two weeks, all on-board envelope collections will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s relief efforts in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The Pick * Pay group will donate food worth R200000 to aid the millions of people who have been affected.