Uganda: Healthcare Implementing Partner for UNHCR at Bidibidi Refugee Settlement
Health Implementation of Zone 3 Handed Over to RMF: June – July 2017
October 26, 2017
Alphonse Mwanamwolho and Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
During this reporting period RMF:
- Continued to provide high-quality health services to persons of concern through the Outpatient department, Inpatient department, inpatient therapeutic care, outpatient therapeutic care, community outreaches, and referral services.
- Throughout the reporting period, RMF purchased medicines to treat patients and laboratory supplies to test for diseases. Medicines and testing helped save lives.
- RMF provided a constant flow of cleaning supplies, which enabled our diligent sanitary team to keep health facilities clean.
- Treatment was provided to all patients that came to the health facilities. Patients with conditions that could not be handled at the health facilities within the settlement were referred to district and regional referral points, respectively.
- RMF continued to facilitate and manage the immunization program in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. All the under-5 children arriving at the settlement are immunized. In this way, RMF is helping to secure a future for these children.
- All RMF-managed health facilities continued to provide antenatal, maternity, and family planning services, thus promoting institutional deliveries and safe motherhood.
- RMF continued facilitating an outreach program within the settlement. This is to ensure that health services are extended to people of concern in more distant villages of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.
- RMF rented 3 additional vans to support the movement of staff and patients: a coordination van, an ambulance, and a funeral van.
- Incinerators and placenta pits have been constructed at all RMF-managed health facilities, thus achieving the minimum required standards of a health facility.
- RMF has continued to sustain medical staff that were hired to support health centers neighboring Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. This has helped reduce the constraints felt in these health centers due to the dramatic increase in population and is contributing to peaceful coexistence between the refugee and host populations. District health facilities benefiting from this program include Yumbe Hospital, Barakala Health Centre III, and Kulikulinga Health Centre III.
- Continuous cervical screening and education is ongoing at the health facilities. Those patients testing positive are referred to the regional referral points for further management (cervical biopsy for histology and cytology).
- RMF continued to provide HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, and ARV services and encourage all patients to practice healthy lifestyles. The team also continued to trace patients who were previously on ART and work to reinstate them on treatment.
- RMF has maintained a highly skilled, dedicated medical team thanks to the prompt payment of salaries and wages, as well as RMF mentorship.
- RMF has continued to sustain a medical team at the Goboro border point, providing medical screening, immunization, treatment, and ambulance services to refugees who arrive exhausted.
- Throughout the reporting period, the disease surveillance team was continuously supported to strengthen the surveillance mechanism. Any suspected samples were rushed to the laboratory for investigation. It is partly for this reason that the phenomenon of outbreaks has been greatly reduced.
RMF’s Unique Model
Selected for Zone 3
In July 2017, health implementation for Zone 3 of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement was handed over to RMF from Medical Teams International (MTI). Thus, RMF is now proving health care in zones 1, 3 and 4 (three of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement’s five zones). Zone 3 alone has a population of more than 65,000 refugees. Zone 3 has five health facilities:
- Yoyo Health Centre III
- Jomorogo Health Centre III
- Luzira I Health Centre III
- Luzira II Health Centre III
- Komgbe Health Centre III
RMF’s selection from among all the health partners is evidence that our unique model for delivering health services provides outstanding care and sets us apart from other organizations.
Building Trust in Modern Medicine
Health facility utilization is progressing. For instance, 75,064 medical consultations were recorded in Zone 1 from October 2016 to June 2017 and 31,049 medical consultations were recorded in in Zone 4 from November 2016 to June 2017. This is an indication that RMF is creating awareness and trust of modern medicine among the people of concern.
Maternal Child Health and Nutrition
Effectively Improving Health
Immunization indicators have been kept under acceptable ranges. The under-5 immunization rate is calculated at 96%. In order to sustain this, a new initiative was established under the code name MCHN (Maternal Child Health and Nutrition). This is an integrated program coordinated to promote both immunization and nutrition. The program has effectively improved the health status of children, mothers, and malnourished clients.
Accreditation and Growth
The ART clinic established by RMF in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement has been accredited and is growing steadily towards the required standards. Data indicate that 6,380 people were tested for HIV from December 2016 to June 2017, and more than 146 people living with HIV/AIDS were identified and started on ART between January 2017 and June 2017).
Identifying and Assessing Needs
RMF’s team has been able to strengthen TB management. During the reporting period, 42 TB patients were identified and are receiving treatment at the health facilities. One of these patients has extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) and has been referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital for advanced management.
Enriching the Community
The project has provided employment to professionals from both the refugee and host populations. Over 400 medical and support staff members have been employed by the project, and the salaries and wages they earn have a positive multiplier effect in the community.
Since 2009, RMF has been working to help the people of South Sudan recover from decades of civil war, which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and healthcare system. RMF initiated, co-founded, and continues to support the Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery, supports the Juba Teaching Hospital, and in December 2014, became the UNICEF implementing partner for malnutrition treatment and prevention in Jonglei State and the greater Pibor Administrative Area. Even after renewed fighting broke out in July 2016, RMF’s in-country teams have continued these programs. RMF has also been providing health services, school support for children, and vocational training to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda’s Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement since 2008, and was appointed UNHCR Health Implementing Partner in 2014.
To accommodate the large numbers of South Sudanese refugees fleeing to Uganda (between July 1, 2016 and September 21, 2016, there were 163,540 new arrivals), the Ugandan Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the UNHCR, in partnership with RMF and other organizations, opened the new Bidibidi Refugee Settlement on August 5, 2016. Bidibidi is located near the South Sudanese border in the Yumbe district of West Nile, Uganda, and has the capacity to support 180,000 refugees. Bidibidi is being built from the ground up, and during August 2016, 31,902 refugees were relocated to the settlement. Real Medicine Foundation is the main UNHCR Health Implementing Partner for Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, and between August 5, 2016 and August 31, 2016, 5,331 patients were treated at RMF’s health clinic.
- To provide residents of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement with high quality primary health care
- To maintain easily accessible, fully staffed, fully stocked health clinics
- To provide referrals to secondary and tertiary care centers when needed
- To provide health education and early detection through health outreaches
- To provide support to Yumbe District Hospital
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Providing Nutritional Support
A set of premature twins (born at 6 months) remains under the care of RMF’s medical team and is growing steadily. At birth, the twins weighed 1.4 and 1.7 kg, respectively, but now they weigh 3 kg. They are currently receiving special diluted therapeutic feeding, and their mother has been enrolled in our supplementary feeding program.
The twins and their mother have been given a tent to reside in near the health facility so that the team can easily attend to them.