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Uganda

More than 128,000 South Sudanese fleeing violence had crossed into Uganda by the end of October.

The majority of the refugees, some 81,000 of them, settled in northern Uganda’s Adjumani district. After being registered through Numanzi transit centre, they were dispersed to camps. Médecins Sans Frontières launched an emergency programme to provide basic healthcare for refugees at the transit centre and in the four camps. Teams screened children for malnutrition, and set up outpatient and inpatient departments, maternity wards and an intensive therapeutic feeding centre. Water and sanitation activities were also undertaken to ensure minimum hygiene standards were being met. As the number of arrivals dropped and other agencies began to cover some of the needs, Médecins Sans Frontières shifted focus to the two largest camps in the south, Ayilo 1 and Ayilo 2, and health screening and consultations at the transit centre. More than 124,000 consultations were carried out and over 4,000 patients were admitted to hospital.

A significant number of refugee children seen by Médecins Sans Frontières had respiratory infections, which can spread quickly in crowded environments. From July to September, Médecins Sans Frontières conducted three rounds of vaccination against pneumococcal disease and Haemophilus influenzae type B, the two main causes of respiratory infections in children. More than 2,700 children under two, living in the refugee camps or in the surrounding villages, were fully immunised against pneumococcus. This was the first vaccination campaign using pneumococcal conjugate vaccine ever run in Uganda, and one of the first in a refugee setting.

Arua HIV/tuberculosis (TB) programme closes
The HIV/TB programme Médecins Sans Frontières started in 2001, based at Arua regional referral hospital, was handed over to the Ministry of Health and SUSTAIN (Strengthening Uganda’s Systems for Treating AIDS Nationally), a Ugandan–American NGO, in July. The project included clinical care, the management of a laboratory for HIV, TB and drug-resistant TB testing and the provision of antiretrovirals. Médecins Sans Frontières also handed over the management centre for multidrug-resistant TB that it built and had been running.

Médecins Sans Frontières is continuing to work on improving access to viral load testing, including for infants, with the UNITAID-funded Treatment Success Project. An Médecins Sans Frontières team is also assessing specific medical needs related to HIV in particularly vulnerable groups, such as children, adolescents and mobile populations.

Marburg emergency preparedness
In October, one case of Marburg haemorrhagic fever was confirmed in Kampala, triggering a joint response by the Ministry of Health, Médecins Sans Frontières and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Médecins Sans Frontières set up five transit centres and one Ebola treatment centre within Kampala hospitals and trained staff working at these sites and in other provinces. No further cases were reported.

In October, one case of Marburg haemorrhagic fever was confirmed in Kampala, triggering a joint response by the Ministry of Health, Médecins Sans Frontières and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Médecins Sans Frontières set up five transit centres and one Ebola treatment centre within Kampala hospitals and trained staff working at these sites and in other provinces. No further cases were reported.


Médecins Sans Frontières first worked in the country in: 1986    

No. staff:
358

This text is an excerpt from the 2014 International Activity Report, published annually looking at our work in the previous year. The full report is available here.

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