We are working to provide medical care, mother and child health services, and water and sanitation activities for South Sudanese refugees who have fled to Uganda.
Although the number of new cases per year has been declining, seven per cent of the population (about 1.5 million people) is HIV positive.
We offer point-of-care viral load testing in Arua regional hospital, which facilitates rapid detection and early treatment, leading to an improved outcomes for patients.
In Kasese, we run a clinic providing basic and comprehensive healthcare to adolescents, including sexual and reproductive health services, and HIV and tuberculosis (TB) prevention, screening and treatment.
In 2020, MSF teams responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, including with health promotion messages in communities.
Our activities in 2020 in Uganda
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
In Kasese, our adolescent clinic provides sexual and reproductive healthcare, including ante- and postnatal care for teenage mothers, in a safe, youth-friendly environment. Awareness-raising and recreational activities encourage youngsters to come for consultations and health education. In 2020, these services were moved to a public health facility to facilitate access and decrease stigma.
The COVID-19 pandemic and strict hygiene measures forced the suspension of recreational activities, resulting in slightly reduced attendance. MSF also offers HIV care to the fishing communities around nearby lakes George and Edward, a high-risk group for HIV infection due to time spent away from home, a cash-based income and the presence of sex workers in fishing ports. In collaboration with local authorities and other providers, we tailor HIV services to the specific needs and habits of these communities.
Our HIV project in Arua is integrated into the local HIV care infrastructure and focuses on children and adolescents, and on patients with advanced HIV disease or a high viral load. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted physically distanced consultations. However, we lost contact with our Congolese cross-border patients from March when lockdown measures were implemented and were unable to provide them with medication. While most of our cross-border patients resumed their treatment in July, our efforts to trace around 13 per cent of them were unsuccessful.
Also in Arua, MSF outreach activities support victims of sexual violence in the Omugo and Imvepi refugee settlements, hosting hundreds of thousands of mainly South Sudanese refugees who fled conflict in their homeland. Mental health support for refugees and host communities is available too.
We stand ready to respond to emergencies such as disease outbreaks and displacement caused by natural disasters or violence.