Relief for Congolese Refugees
by Chris Lumsden
Conflict and war remain constant headlines across the world this year. Innocent victims of violence leave their homes, schools and jobs with no other choice but to run.
In Africa, Medical Teams International was fortunate enough to be already on location when Congolese refugees began to pour into Uganda.
Many of these refugees were women and children in desperate need of medical attention. Painful conditions such as malaria, acute watery diarrhea, headaches, skin abrasions and skin diseases afflict people by the thousands. At the health center along the Congolese border, Medical Teams staff and volunteers serve approximately 180-200 patients daily.
Thousands of women in these refugee resettlement camps are at risk of sexual violence. Due to the high demand of various health concerns, Ugandan health clinics are not able to effectively treat these women and Medical Teams is working to help address this pressing need.
“Medical Teams is working to put community members in control of their lives to prevent these types of crimes” says Kambugu Martin, a local health worker. “We do this through sensitization and education and to provide survivors with the support they need.”
One such survivor is a 9-year-old girl who was recently raped in a resettlement camp. With the help of many US-based supporters, this little girl was treated at a Medical Teams-managed health center in the camp and now receives ongoing support from clinic counselors.
Her story is like many others who have benefited from the selfless service of Medical Teams volunteers and staff in Uganda. Without your help, this innocent child would not have the hope she has today.
To read more about our work in Uganda, visit www.medicalteams.org/Congo.