UPDATE: 18 May 2017
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to northern Uganda since July 2016, following renewed violence in South Sudan. Over 630,000 refugees have since arrived in Uganda and thousands continue to arrive every week, bringing the total number of South Sudanese refugees and asylum-seekers to over 900,000.
This makes Uganda the largest hosting country for South Sudanese refugees, and also the largest refugee hosting country in Africa. Some 86 per cent of the South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children under 18.
MSF started its emergency response in July 2016 in Adjumani. Currently MSF is working in four refugee settlements – Bidi Bidi, Imvepi, Palorinya and Rhino – providing inpatient and outpatient medical care, maternity care and nutritional care, and conducting community health surveillance and water and sanitation activities.
Access to water is one of the biggest issues in the refugee settlements and MSF has been scaling up operations in water support. In Ofua zones in Rhino, people received around 4.6 litres per person per day in April. In Palorinya, MSF produces average of 2 million litres per day from the River Nile, supporting over 100,000 people.
During the month of April 2017, MSF provided 25,775 outpatient consultations, treated 3,307 cases of malaria and produced over 50 million litres of water.
Activities 2015 International Activity Report
At the end of 2015, MSF opened a new project in Kasese district, southwest Uganda.
This project focused on access to healthcare for adolescents and the fishing communities on lakes George and Edward. Both groups are particularly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Activities are run in complete integration with the public health system.
Since 2013, MSF has supported the HIV laboratory in Arua district, and has introduced devices to measure CD4 and viral load as part of a UNITAID-funded project. In 2015, MSF started offering early infant diagnosis to test babies born to HIV-positive mothers so that they can start antiretroviral (ARV) treatment as quickly as possible, if necessary. MSF is also supporting genotyping tests, which identify resistance to second-line ARVs.
Response to a malaria outbreak
MSF conducted an epidemiological assessment in Kole, Apach and Oyam districts, and at the request of the Ministry of Health, donated more than 81,000 treatments for malaria and supported case management in health centres in two districts and a hospital in Kole. Teams also ran mobile clinics and referred patients to Lira regional hospital when required. Over five months, 63,000 patients with malaria were treated in the districts supported by MSF.
In July, MSF handed over the outpatient, inpatient and maternity care services it had been providing for South Sudanese refugees in Adjumani district since January 2014 to Medical Teams International. Between January and July, more than 48,600 consultations were carried out, and 574 patients were admitted to hospital.
Year MSF first worked in the country: 1986.
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