Update from the Field
June 30, 2009
Charles Naku Lwanga
Country Coordinator, Charles Naku and leaders at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement orchestrated the painting of bed frames and the interior and exterior of all the wards at the health clinic. Gallons of white and green paint were purchased taking into consideration Masindi Ministry of Health’s color scheme preference. Many of the refugees along with the chief clinical officer had prior painting experience. Rather than hiring from the outside RMF employed those inside the settlement to upgrade the Panyadoli Health Clinic with fresh coats of paint. Mattresses were purchased to cover the bare bed frames and replace the torn, soiled unhygienic mattresses. Covers for the mattresses are being sewn by refugees so that the mattresses will be protected and remain clean. Above the bed frames mosquito nets were hung to decrease the chance of contracting malaria. Cleaning supplies were purchased to maintain hygienic conditions at the clinic and the grounds were slashed to remove overgrown bush. A sense of pride and enthusiasm has surrounded the upgrade of the health clinic. Patients and community members have voiced their gratitude for the attention the health clinic is receiving.
Wards after painting:
On May 18th, Michael Lear, RMF Director of International Relations escorted two members from World Children’s Fund on a tour of the Refugee Settlement. Dr. Richard, assistant clinical officer, provided a very comprehensive overview of the clinic operations and needs during the tour of the facility. With the exception of the painting, which looked very good, the center itself seemed strained even more so than during the February visit. The wards were very active. Many community members came to pray for the children in their ward and for some parents there was an air of desperation due to symptoms of malnutrition.
There was a tremendous shortage of medicines at the clinic and this was reconfirmed in a letter from Peter Karanja, refugee settlement leader. RMF is in the process of finalizing an agreement to allow RMF to fill gaps when the Masindi District’s and UNHCR’s budget can not provide emergency medications.
After touring the health clinic RMF and WCF were greeted by residents of the settlement. Songs, dances and poems related the gratitude for all of the services provided that ease the burden of living in a refugee settlement.
School Fees Support
RMF continues to provide tuition fee support for Kenyan Refugees attending preschool, primary and secondary schools. Children of all ages expressed their overwhelming gratitude through their performances during our recent visit.