Uganda: Healthcare Implementing Partner for UNHCR at Bidibidi Refugee Settlement
Newly Constructed Health Facility Commissioned for Use: Q2 2018
October 12, 2018
Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
- 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 and delivered medicines to the health facilities on a monthly basis to treat patients. RMF also purchased laboratory supplies to test for diseases. Medicines and testing helped save lives.
- Food supplements were procured to support the nutrition program.
- During the reporting period, RMF purchased other hospital supplies to support the program, including furniture and waste receptacles.
- RMF provided a constant flow of cleaning supplies, which enabled our diligent sanitary team to keep health facilities clean. The cleanliness of RMF-managed health facilities is among the reasons why many patients prefer receiving care from us.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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. The ART clinic is growing.
- Continued to facilitate the disease surveillance teams’ activities so that the medical department will not be taken by surprise in case of an outbreak. Any suspected samples of cholera, measles, and polio are rushed to the national laboratory for confirmation. This is partly why no outbreak was experienced during the reporting period.
- Community health officers and Village Health Teams (VHTs) were trained on community-based disease surveillance, patient referral, and health promotion strategies.
- RMF facilitated community leaders’ dialogues to help community leaders become ambassadors of good health practices. This will strengthen the preventive health initiative and thus reduce the cost of curative health.
- Continuous cervical cancer screening and education is ongoing at the health facilities.
- All RMF-managed health facilities continued to provide antenatal, maternity, and family planning services, thus promoting institutional deliveries and safe motherhood, as opposed to village-based deliveries. We have been able to achieve safe motherhood targets, thanks in part to the dignity kits provided by UNHCR and distributed by RMF at the health facilities during delivery. In addition, malnourished pregnant and lactating women benefited from nutritional foods and education.
- Conducted follow-ups on TB cases in the community to ensure that patients are taking their medication as instructed. Through outreaches and home visits, we are working to prevent patients developing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
- Throughout the reporting period, pregnant mothers benefited from nutrition services.
With funding from UNHCR, RMF has successfully implemented the construction of permanent structures for 4 health centers: Bididibi Reception Health Centre III, Bangatuti Health Centre III, Jomorogo Health Centre III, and Komgbe Health Centre III.
Participants at the official commissioning of Bidibidi Reception Health Centre III included the UNHCR Head of Yumbe Sub-Office, Bidibidi Camp Commandant (OPM), UNHCR Regional Public Health Officer, and officials from the Ministry of Health and Real Medicine Foundation.
Closer to the People
RMF conducted 26 integrated outreaches during the reporting period. Integrated community outreaches conducted by the team bring services closer to the people in our areas of service.
On June 20th, RMF joined UNHCR, OPM, and other implementing partners in the World Refugee Day celebrations at Bidibidi Reception Centre in the settlement. Through an integrated outreach at this event, RMF provided first aid to attendees.
In collaboration with Yumbe District, RMF conducted a mass hepatitis B screening and vaccination of the refugees in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. Staff conducted a mass rotavirus vaccination campaign for children 6 weeks of age within the settlement under Ministry of Health guidelines and supervision. During the exercise, mothers were also vaccinated.
RMF continued to facilitate and manage routine immunization exercises in zones 1, 3, and 4 of Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. All the under-5 children arriving at the settlement are also immunized. This is a strategy to secure the future of these children, which is threatened by deadly diseases.
Educating and Supporting
The nutrition department continues to fight malnutrition in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement through the implementation of a supplementary nutrition program and nutrition education for pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as through the rehabilitation of malnourished children at the inpatient therapeutic care points.
The nutrition department is steadily growing and saving lives. Thanks to support from LDS Charities and Convoy of Hope, pregnant and lactating women (PLW) have been especially helped.
Prevention and Education
HIV/AIDS awareness programs are conducted in schools and surrounding communities. RMF continued distributing condoms as a tool to promote HIV prevention. During the reporting period, 112,551 condoms were distributed through community outreach and the STI clinic.
From May to July 2018, RMF conducted HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. 7,100 clients were tested (6,373 refugees and 727 nationals). Of those, 23 nationals and 33 refugees tested HIV-positive and have been enrolled in ART treatment.
RMF maintained a highly skilled and motivated medical team and support staff to accomplish our objectives. Health facility utilization is progressing, and the health status of the population is improving, as indicated by the decreased number of consultations during the reporting period.
From May to July 2018, RMF carried out 66,539 medical consultations in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, treating 56,853 refugees and 9,686 nationals.
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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Baby Restored to Health
Baby Night Abau arrived at Bidibidi Health Centre III suffering from severe acute malnutrition and severe malaria. RMF nutrition team member followed up with Night Abau after successful treatment.