Arua (Agenzia Fides) - Uganda in recent months has faced a flow of refugees out of the ordinary. The West Nile Region and the Kiryandongo District, with approximately 2.7 million inhabitants, have in fact taken in an enormous number of South Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict and famine in their home country.
In response to this emergency, Doctors with Africa CUAMM officially presented its new project in Arua, in the north of Uganda, aimed at strengthening the health care system in these areas of the Country, in order to provide mothers and children in the area, including both residents and refugees from South Sudan, with the food and health care they need.
"CUAMM is working to strenghten the health system, fight malnutrition and give assistance to mothers and children. For the right to health for everyone, refugees and non-refugees", said Peter Lochoro, Doctors with Africa CUAMM’s country representative.
"The primary aim of the project is to train and improve the skills of the health personnel working in the hospitals and health centers in the six districts involved – a network that includes 257 health facilities. Currently out of one million refugees, 160,000 are pregnant or lactating women and more than 564,600 under-5 children", says Dr. Lochoro in the note sent to Fides.
"The 19 refugee camps scattered across the area currently host more than a million people, and by the end of 2017 some 1.2 million South Sudanese refugees are expected to have reached the area", the doctor concludes.
The West Nile Region, an already impoverished border area where the population increase could pose public health risks. The Ugandan government has therefore identified the need to strengthen the area’s health care system within the general framework of the Refugee and Host Population Empowerment (REHOPE) policy. Doctors with Africa CUAMM’s project, developed with UNICEF in cooperation with local authorities, aims to do just that. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 12/10/2017)