During this reporting period:
Every year, RMF Founder and CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs schedules a visit to our project sites in Uganda. It is a moment that RMF Uganda team members await with great eagerness. Among all the partners managing refugee operations in Uganda, only RMF’s CEO spares time annually to visit all projects, interact freely with team members, and share ideas on how to move RMF forward using a unique approach. During her visit, both professional and support staff have an opportunity to interact with the CEO. This is part of the paradigm shift that RMF represents.
The program is helping communities overcome ethnic prejudices that each group of people had against the other. This is because RMF employs workers from all different areas and tribes of the country. When people meet together, they learn to appreciate each other. Dinka and Nuer tribes may not like each while in South Sudan, but at the health centers in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, they are able to meet and receive the same services. Thus, this program increases the chance for person-to-person interaction. Since the health and other services supported by RMF also cater to both the refugee and host community, peaceful coexistence has been strengthened on a larger scale as well.
The project has improved the economy, both directly and indirectly. Refugees that have been employed as cleaners at the health centers can now earn a salary, which has helped them improve their lives and the lives of their families. A local trading center has developed near Panyadoli Health Centre III, and other services, such as mobile money transfers, have extended near the facility. The project has also helped create a market for some local products, including food, fruit, and other goods. Because of these activities and the labor force the project has attracted, business in the nearby town of Bweyale have benefited and the town council’s tax base has widened (employees pay a local service tax).
Through RMF/WCF’s support, Panyadoli Health Centre III has become a reliable source of healthcare services to the community. As a result, faith has been restored in the settlement’s health services and death rates have been reduced significantly both in the refugee and host communities. We have continued to maintain the reliability of care by recruiting additional staff members to meet the needs of large numbers of newly arriving South Sudanese refugees.
RMF’s new mental health department has progressed tremendously. Since January 2017, 1,876 patients requiring mental health support have visited the facility. 1,666 mental health clients have successfully been enrolled for care and 9 cases were referred to the Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital in Kampala.
In addition to providing quality healthcare services, Panyadoli Health Centre III has also become a source of knowledge. Since RMF has brought in a professional and experienced workforce, medical and social institutions are now sending students to complete their internships here. Therefore, the project is promoting learning and sharing of knowledge and skills.
The Panyadoli Health Centres, located in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement near Bweyale, Uganda, provide healthcare services to over 100,000 refugees from Kenya, South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda, as well as members of the host community.
A total of 35,227 patients were treated during the second quarter of 2017, a dramatic increase from the 17,130 patients treated from January to March of this year.
Peace Nabisawa is a 4-year-old boy from Cluster E in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. He was brought to the health facility when his family observed that he was not breathing. It was at night, and thankfully Peace’s mother had the RMF ambulance hotline. She called immediately and the ambulance was dispatched to pick up the child. When the health workers examined Peace, pneumonia was diagnosed. He was immediately put on IV Cefradine 400 mg, IV Hydrocortisone 25 mg, and Panadol syrup 2.5 ml. Pneumonia is a common cause of death in the settlement, mostly when it is not treated on time. Peace’s family thanks RMF for the rapid response that saved their son.
John Nakuka is a 6-year-old boy who lives in Cluster K of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. He was brought to the health facility unconscious. According to his mother, John had been complaining that he felt cold for 3 days and had not been playing with peers. John’s mother had thought he would get well. It was evening when he convulsed and became unconscious, and that is when his mother rushed him to the health facility. The blood test showed +3 malaria parasites. IV Quinine was immediately administered, along with other recommended antimalarial treatment. John is gradually recovering and will soon be discharged.
When speaking with John’s mother about his history, we learned that the young boy was not sleeping under a mosquito net. Our medics have advised John’s mother to ensure that he always sleeps under a treated mosquito net. According to the doctor, if John had not been rushed to the health facility, he would have died in the next few hours because of the severe level of malaria in his body.