(PORTLAND, Ore., May 21, 2010)— A two-person volunteer team from Medical Teams International travels to Southwest Uganda this week to help sick and suffering Congolese refugees. They will provide primary health care services for families forced from their homes by ongoing fighting in the Congo.
Cynthia Bickley, a Registered Nurse from Deer Park, Wash., and Dr. Patricia O'Hora, General Practitioner from Edgewater, Md., will leave Saturday, May 22. They will work for three weeks in a Medical Teams International clinic in the Nakivale Settlement Camp, providing access to emergency and primary health care for 50,000 refugees.
Medical Teams International has been operational in Uganda since 2004 in Lira, Apac and Pader districts. Since 2008, volunteers have worked alongside local medical staff in Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps, providing care for patients and training local staff. Medical Teams International also ships humanitarian aid for distribution at the Lira and Pader clinics.
More than 5.4 million people have been killed in the Congolese conflict. Medical Teams International staff and volunteers help to provide for the country’s survivors who are displaced in Uganda by providing:
Emergency health care, as well as preventive health care programs;
HIV and AIDS education, testing and counseling;
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; and
Health center rehabilitation so families will have their long-term health care needs met.
Felix Omodi, Uganda country director for Medical Teams International, has led the organization’s work in the country since it began working there in 2004. Nearly 50 Ugandan staff work in Lira and Pader, alongside ongoing teams who join them throughout the year.