Thursday, 8 May 2003

Kampala (Fides Service) – Refugee camps in Kyangwali, northern Uganda have no structures to treat people with AIDS. Displaced persons with HIV/AIDS or who fear they may be infected, are left to themselves and no one offers them any help. This is reported by the Jesuit Refugee Service in Kampala, which says “When they reach the camps they are not even given a test: they are marginalised for fear and ignorance” says Jesuit Father Juliet Nandawula of JRS in Uganda.
The JRS contacted the local office of the UN High Commission for Refugees to report the situation. UNHCR replied that most camps have programmes for HIV/AIDS sufferers. “Despite availability of services and programmes there is little response” says JRS. It should be said that although in Kampala there are a few programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, the refugees are reluctant to apply for fear of being isolated from the rest of the people and also due to language barriers”.
According to the JRS about one million people are confined by order of the government to protected villages. The Jesuits says: “We pray for the dead, we share the mourning of the families and we do all we can to make our voice hear with and for the poorest people of northern Uganda. LM (Fides Service 8/5/2003 EM lines 22 Words: 244)