(PORTLAND, Ore., January 10, 2014) Medical Teams International (MTI) is launching an emergency health response following the growing influx of South Sudan refugees into northern Uganda.
Fleeing conflict in South Sudan that began in mid-December, more than 29,000 refugees have crossed the border into Uganda in a short amount of time, overwhelming the ability for humanitarian and government agencies on the ground to provide adequate care. Existing health centers are facing severe challenges in providing basic health services.
“At the moment, the majority of refugees are women and children,” says Joe DiCarlo, MTI’s Vice President of Programs. “In complex emergency situations like this deepening crisis, deaths from disease increase due to over-crowded living conditions, inadequate shelter, insufficient and unsafe water, and inadequate sanitation. Children are especially vulnerable and with most of the refugees being under the age of 17, it’s even more important that we respond immediately to help prevent needless suffering and death.”
As the Office of the Prime Minister and the UNHCR’s lead partner in providing health interventions for refugees in northern Uganda, Medical Teams International plans to increase emergency health services by providing local staff to support existing health centers and provide emergency resources including medicines and medical supplies. The organization also plans to deploy medical volunteers from the U.S. to help support efforts to improve access and quality of care.