It’s been a wild two days. Friday we went to Kisoro – a 4 hr drive from Mbarara. We were able to see the volunteers in action. They are still averaging seeing 180-200 patients daily. It’s about 50/50 on refugees vs locals. Still mostly primary health care needs – malaria, acute diarrhea, headaches, skin abrasions and skin diseases.
The transit camp population is down to about 2,500 people, but is expected to rise again. UNHCR is thinking about considering Kisoro, a semi-refugee camp as the average stay there now is 2 months before they get transferred to a refugee camp.
Saturday we made the 4 hr drive from Kisoro to Matanda. They have been operational in Matanda for 3 weeks now. Five of the staff are from Nakivale, and one from Kisoro (comprensive nurses and 1 midwife). Once the newly hired staff gets trained at Nakivale, they will then replace the staff currently there. They are seeing on average 64 refugees and 120 nationals daily. They have already had 4 births from refugee mothers and all babies are healthy. They have one TB case, and a lot of acute diarrhea, along with the primary health care. There was a new maternal health clinic constructed and is very nice!
The transit camp currently averages 35 new refugees daily but is expected to rise as well. There are a little over 3,500 refugees currently there and are only supposed to stay for a week but have been staying for almost a month. There are two churches that have been given space and has risen up out of the camp itself. A big kudos goes to our staff already there as there were poor water and sanitation issues and they were able to convince URC to put in more latrines (which they did). Martin, MTI staff, also talked to UNHCR about the food conditions that were unsanitary and they have also made corrections to how they are serving food (on tables vs on the ground).
We had a chance to meet with the Commandant of OPM and the UNHCR representative at Matanda. They are very glad to see MTI there and that there are more volunteers on their way.
We asked the Commadant of OPM why he likes MTI and he said because we are professional, always do what we are saying we will do and we treat everyone with respect.
I was able to see where the volunteers will stay and confirmed that we need to send our best, most experienced volunteers as working and living conditions are harsher than Kisoro. I am still working with volunteers for placement.
All for now,