Primary Health Care for South Sudanese refugees
The Arua district in Uganda had 178,481 South Sudanese refugees and a host community population of 891,700 (UNHCR, 2019).
- Health care is poor in the area and existing government services are unable to cope with the need caused by the influx of refugees.
- UNHCR and large INGOs are support local camps with water access, food staples, and basic needs, the largest unmet need is basic healthcare access.
- The whole settlement is served by two health centres and four health posts.
- Refugees cannot afford private transportation to health centres, walking distances of up to 6 kilometres, to seek treatment.
UNHCR’s assessment of the healthcare needs in Imvepi in 2018 reported that: ‘Limited access to health services leads to some refugees resorting to traditional remedies or selling part of their food rations to afford transportation to the main referral hospital in Arua.’
CRESS aims to help the South Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda through our clinic and outreach services.
Our clinic in Mijale has the required staff and equipment to provide treatment for Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhoea, Diabetes, Mellitus, Hypertension, Typhoid, Brucellosis and skin conditions.
It also supports the separately funded RUMPs, hygiene training project, field maternal health project and CATT (Children's Accelerated Trauma Therapy).
- “My son became sick with serious difficulty in breathing, high fever and restlessness for 2 days. I came far away, from Kupia village, bordering South Sudan, 7 Km away from the clinic and walked for about 2 hours.I had no hope that my child would be alive when we got there. The doctors ran up and down to save the life of my son. They put the child on the Oxygen Machine, I was much worried and crying thinking my child had died after seeing the child connected to a big machine. Two hours later, the doctors told me the child is now OK, breathing is normal and temperature is also normal.I could not believe it until the following morning when I saw my child was breastfeeding and even playing. Then I was excited and filled with joy and happiness again thanking God, saying if this Clinic was not to be here, what should I do to my beloved son.“
Ms. Jeska, Scovia’s mother said while tears in her eyes “I took this child to almost all the nearby health facilities in Mijale including those in the IDPs but noticed no improvement.”
So, the CRESS clinic became the only hope for her child since it’s the only clinic with a microscope in the whole of Kerwa sub-county – meaning excellent service delivery.
Following laboratory investigations Scovia was diagnosed with complicated malaria, severe pneumonia and Amoebiasis – they were detained in the clinic for five days before full recovery.
Mr Isaac arrived at the clinic with severe colicky abdominal pain, severe headaches and low-grade fever. He attempted to seek for help in the nearby clinics and health centres with no improvement.
After being tested in the clinic and diagnosed with Schistosomiasis and Typhoid fever, and initiated appropriate treatment. The following morning, he came singing the name of the clinic because of the miracles that happened to him – adding without this clinic, he would have lost his life or travelled a long distance for appropriate medication.