Mozambique: Attitudes Beginning to Change in Nampula

Maputo — The deputy general director of the National Health Institute (INS), Eduardo Samo Gudo, believes that in the northern Mozambican city of Nampula, intensive work to make people aware of the need to take preventive measures against the Covid-19 respiratory disease is beginning to bear fruit.

Nampula city has become the part of Mozambique worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the only area where the disease has made the shift from localised foci of transmission to community transmission.

“I am concerned at the speed of the spread of Covid-19”, Samo Gudo told AIM. “But this isn’t just happening in Mozambique. It’s a problem of Africa, and indeed of the southern hemisphere, which is where the contamination is now achieving great velocity”.

Samo Gudo is leading a team from the INS and the Health Ministry undertaking an epidemiological survey in the city, to assess the true extent of the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

He told AIM that there are now some signs in Nampula of people changing their behaviour, and beginning to accept preventive measures, such as wearing masks. “Many activities are under way”, he said, “and they are certainly reaching people. The question is what percentage of them are changing their behaviour. We see a large number of people in the streets who are not complying with preventive measures. But there is another important number who are complying, and so we must continue to insist”.

He thought Mozambique still has an opportunity to beat the coronavirus. “We still have a relatively small number of cases (651, as of Wednesday), which means we have an opportunity, because it is easier to control an accelerated epidemic when it is just starting than when there are already tens or hundreds of thousands of cases. The epidemic is beginning to take on alarming proportions, but there is an opportunity”.

Nonetheless, Samo Gudo was concerned that Mozambique is among the countries where the number of cases is doubling in a short period, compared with the world average.

Mozambique has now entered the southern African winter, and there is some concern that this could worsen the spread of Covid-19. However, Samo Gudo said there is no solid scientific evidence for the theory that the spread of the disease is influenced by the weather.

“We should look at aspects for which there is evidence such as the mobility of people, and the failure to comply with preventive measures”, he said.



Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique