The lack of a Minor Operating Theatre and sufficient space for the Maternity ward have been among the challenges affecting service delivery at Panyadoli Health Centre III in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Addressing these two challenges was also the first request that the refugee community presented to Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) when we began our work in the settlement in 2008.
Since then, RMF has continued to expand our programs and search for funding for this construction project, and thanks to generous support from LDS Charities, RMF has been able to fulfill the community’s request. Construction of the Minor Operating Theatre and Maternity ward expansion began in late 2016 and was completed in April 2017.
On May 2, 2017, the Maternity ward expansion and Minor Operating Theatre were inaugurated by RMF Founder and CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs. The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Resident District Commissioner of Kiryandongo District (the president’s representative), Head of the UNHCR Kiryandongo Field Office, the Kiryandongo Settlement Commandant, a chairperson from the Kiryandongo refugee community, the Kiryandongo District Health Officer, and other stakeholders.
The project has improved the infrastructure of Panyadoli Health Centre III and stimulated discussions of elevating it to level IV. The implication of this is that the facility would receive more support from Uganda’s central government in terms of medical supplies, medical and non-medical staff, and financial support.
The project has increased the confidence of refugees living in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. The refugees feel safe living in the settlement because healthcare services are up to desired standards. It is on record that RMF has contributed to making Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement a model settlement.
Refugee youths and nationals who participated in the construction have earned income, experience, and connections. The business community of Bweyale Town Council (the town close to the settlement) benefited from increased demand for food and supplies.
Since RMF efficiently monitored this construction project, UNHCR has developed additional confidence in RMF to handle other sophisticated tasks on their behalf. As a result, UNHCR has assigned the construction of 4 health facilities in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement to RMF.
The Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Uganda, is a UNHCR managed refugee settlement that provides shelter, land, and support for more than 100,000 people. They are comprised of refugees from Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. RMF has partnered with UNHCR in supporting Kiryandango Refugee Settlement, the surrounding community of Bweyale, and the greater Kiryandongo District (an additional 266,197 people) with health care, education, and vocational training since 2008.