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When the floods began on 15 March, Tina Patissone, 30, heavily pregnant, grabbed her 4 children at 11 pm and ran through the strong wind to the Secondary School where other people had gathered, when their house began to flood.

Then Tina began feeling contractions at 4 am on the 16th of March, which caused some panic as people tried to contact the provincial hospital to get an ambulance. As all the mobile networks were down since the Cyclone hit, they resorted to hiring a motorcycle taxi that took her to the Matundo Health Center.

Accommodation Center - Industrial Institute of Matundo in Tete City
Accommodation Center - Industrial Institute of Matundo in Tete City


They reached safely to the hospital and Tina had her baby, Joana Antonio, at 5 am without any complications.

Cyclone IDAI made landfall during the night of 14th March and brought heavy torrential rains and winds to the provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambezia, Tete, and Inhambane.

Although heavy rain continues in the central region of the country, UNFPA has succeeded to respond to the needs on the ground as transit centers were created.

Tina and her family were staying in one of the 94 tents in the transit center before seeking shelter elsewhere.

It was in the transit center, located at the Industrial Institute of Matundo in Tete City, that Vidal Mahundla, UNFPA Program Coordinator, met Tina and her newborn daughter, Joana.

Vidal provided Tina with a UNFPA dignity kit that contains essential products, particularly for women and girls, such as capulanas (cloth worn by African women), sanitary pads,  soap, soap, toothbrushes, a safety whistle, and other essentials.

“I am really happy with the dignity kit and it would be good if these were made available not only in times of crises but in good times as well. Being clean and taking care of oneself is important for women and even more so for a newborn baby”, Tina expressed her appreciation.

Her family is amongst the 348 families that have now left the accommodation center and are seeking shelter with family or friends, since discovering that their home had been completely destroyed and their compound was unrecognizable. To date, 274 families are still living in transit centers.

They are currently staying with a family friend who opened up his house to them when he heard about the birth of Joana but would not like to overstay their welcome.

“We are hoping to get a tent and begin reconstructing our home ideally in an area less prone to flooding,” said Antonio Nestala Ntundo, 38, Tina’s husband.

Tina did not lose any of her friends or family; but over the four affected provinces, Cyclone Idai has claimed the lives of over 200 people, so far confirmed.

UNFPA estimates that about 74,650 flood and cyclone impacted women are pregnant. Over 43,276 women are estimated to give birth in the next six months; about 7,465 are at risk of life-threatening complications from pregnancy in the next six months and will need access to functioning health facilities and care. UNFPA Mozambique, government, and other partners are working to ensure women have access to basic and lifesaving health services like pregnancy checkups, safe childbirth services, and a variety of voluntary contraception methods.