Bishop Joseph has three Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in his Diocese. These three are home to some 35,000 people in terrible conditions – they are called Adjio, Keriwa and Logu. During our September trip, we visited Logu.
These camps are almost inaccessible, the UN is unable to access them from South Sudan as they are located in rebel held territory. The Government troops control what the UN can do and will not allow their food vehicles or those of WHO through. Access from Uganda which is the direction our CRESS team approached from is impossible for UN vehicles as the tracks are too narrow and boggy for large vehicles.
CRESS plans to help the people of the IDP through Bishop Joseph Aba’s work. CRESS will help with some agricultural training and medical support especially to the pregnant women. If funds permit CRESS would also like to supply mosquito nets for the mothers and young children as they have none and badly need them.
Transport is a major cost as each of the camps is over a three hours drive from the CRESS and Diocesan offices in Arua.
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Report on IDP camp at Logu, South Sudan by Dr Jane Guy
We arrived at the camp after a rather treacherous journey with the dirt road more like a river after rainfall and our 4 wheel drive vehicles sliding all over the place and one vehicle becoming completely stuck. We were aware of white tarpaulins marked with UNHCR amongst the jungle area as we approached a central clearing. People starting gathering as we arrived and the singing and dancing started slowly as more people emerged to join in, maracas and drums adding to the welcome. Jane Poggo was clearly overcome by emotion seeing so many of “her people” living in such difficult circumstances but was greeted joyfully by many friends and some relatives.
I was sent to investigate the health facilities for the refugee population and found a series of conjoined tents housing the pharmacy, consultation area, antenatal and delivery room. The pharmacy/medical stores were sadly depleted due to lack of re-supply as the aid agencies are unable to get through past the government troops who are fighting the rebels nearby.The nurse showed me the register they keep of all cases seen in one book for under 5’s and a second for all others.
The commonest diseases dealt with were respiratory infections, malaria and diarrhoea. The midwife, Regina, showed me the delivery area which had a single delivery bed on a dirt floor and small trolley with essential equipment on it, but there was a lack of plastic sheeting for delivery. There was a mattress on the floor behind a curtain for postnatal recovery. She described a case of eclampsia she had dealt with recently which had had a happy outcome despite not having any intravenous diazepam.
There were a handful of essential items that were needed which we are hoping to provide for this clinic as well as having an outreach service from the clinic in Majale which is about an hour’s drive over the border.