Uganda: Healthcare Implementing Partner for UNHCR at Bidibidi Refugee Settlement
Tripartite Agreement Signed: February-March 2017
April 12, 2017
Naku Charles Lwanga
Summary of Activities
Current statistics indicate that there are 272,206 refugees and asylum seekers now living in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, and including residents of its catchment areas, the project targets over 330,000 people.
The refugee population in Uganda has increased rapidly due to the influx of South Sudanese fleeing violence, scarcity of food, and financial instability in their country. The UNHCR reported over 41,000 new arrivals from South Sudan in two weeks (March 1–14, 2017), and Goboro border continues to receive more than 1,000 refugees daily. Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, opened in early August 2016 still being built from the ground up, is now filled to capacity and has been closed to new arrivals.
- Continued to provide high-quality health services to people of concern through the outpatient department, inpatient department, inpatient therapeutic care, outpatient therapeutic care, community outreaches, and referral services
- Procured and transported monthly supply of medicine, as well as medical, laboratory, and cleaning supplies for the health centers in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement
- Procured and transported hospital equipment, namely beds, delivery beds, and drip stands
- Provided HIV/AIDS screening, enrollment, and ongoing treatment
- Provided ongoing cervical cancer screening and education: 259 women have been screened, and the 13 who tested positive have been referred for further management (cervical biopsy for histology and cytology)
- Recruited additional medical and non-medical staff to support and expand the program
- Continued training new staff members on RMF values through meetings
- Recruited and trained Village Health Teams (VHTs), so as to provide a strong foundation for our preventive healthcare strategy
- Procured and provided pregnancy testing kits (over 1,078 women have been tested)
- Transported health workers for outreach programs around the community
- Trained health workers on disease surveillance
- RMF has continued to provide respectful burial services to refugees who die in the settlement. They are buried in one place, where exhuming will be easy if loved ones wish to rebury them in their home country when peace comes.
Tripartite Agreement Signed
Working Together to Aid Refugees
The relationship between RMF, UNHCR, and OPM is steadily growing. The 2017 partnership agreement between RMF, UNHCR, and OPM has been signed. RMF has continued to deliver health services according to the tripartite agreement between UNHCR, OPM, and RMF.
Thus, RMF is upholding its mandate as UNHCR Health Implementing Partner in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Yumbe District. RMF continues to extend health services to the Goboro border as well.
HIV and TB Management
Screening and Treatment Programs
We are actively running the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission (EMCT) program, which has been embraced by people of concern. Early diagnosis for infants under 18 months born to HIV-positive mothers has also been started. Currently, we have 45 babies being monitored.
TB management is another component of the project. Currently, 10 of the 34 clients who were being monitored have been discharged, and routine screenings of new and existing patients are conducted.
Safe Birthing Practices
Improved Health Facility Utilization
Health facility utilization by people of concern has improved drastically. We conducted deliveries in the health facilities: over 68 babies were delivered in February, and over 87 babies were delivered in March.
Deliveries conducted in the community with traditional birth attendants are not heard of. There is improved compliance in the community in ensuring that all deliveries are conducted in a health facility under the care of a trained healthcare professional.
Integrated Healthcare Services
Promoting Peaceful Coexistence
RMF continues to promote the peaceful coexistence of refugees and nationals through the provision of integrated healthcare services, creating strong linkages, and harmonizing operations with district local government.
Supplies and Staff Provided
Carrying Out Objectives
Throughout this reporting period, RMF has been able to ensure a continuous stock of medical, laboratory, and cleaning supplies to ensure people of concern receive proper treatment in a hygienic facility. Medical outreaches were conducted as planned. Medical screenings of new refugees arriving at the settlement were effectively completed.
Meeting Various Needs
- Maternity Services
- Laboratory Services
- TB, HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care, and Support
- Nutrition Services
- General Health Care
- Ambulance Services
- Expanded Immunization Program
- Community Outreach Services
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
Click to enlarge
Medical Care Provided
An epileptic woman being treated for burns. She fell in the fire when there was nobody to help her.
Medical Care Provided
Children playing ended up in a fight, with elements of Dinka and Nuer tribal conflict. One schoolboy was injured in the face.