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South Sudan’s Refugee Crisis Affects Ugandan Health System

The big improve within the variety of refugees getting into northern Uganda from South Sudan has affected the nation’s already-weak health care system.

VOA lately visited the Adjumani space in northern Uganda. Health facilities there are additionally close to refugee settlements for South Sudanese. But the health facilities are unable to look after all the pregnant women within the space.

Experts estimate that Uganda has one physician for each 24,000 of its residents. It has about one nurse for each 11,000 individuals. Most health care staff are in cities.

Because of struggle and violence in neighboring nations, the nation now has 1.2 million refugees.

The United Nations says extra refugees entered Uganda than another a part of the world in 2016 as civilians fled battle and starvation in South Sudan. The movement of refugees into Uganda has continued this yr.

Ester Ponne Charles is a refugee. She arrived in northern Uganda eight months in the past. She additionally was pregnant.

“If you shouldn’t have cash, chances are you’ll lose your life and the kid too. Because there they need cash. Without cash, even drugs, you purchase even the gloves your self, every thing within the hospital. So these are the challenges we face. Those ones who can’t even afford any coin, so they’ll simply find yourself dropping their life.”

Aid businesses and the federal government have labored to arrange momentary health facilities within the refugee settlements to assist women.

One refugee settlement referred to as Maaji now has 15,000 refugees. However, there are not any docs and solely eight medical officers and nurses for the settlement.

Tako Stephen offers medical care at health middle three in Maaji. However, there are limits to what medical staff can do for pregnant women on the middle.

“We are unable to conduct deliberate deliveries right here due to the setup of the place. The place could be very small,” he stated. “We only conduct emergency deliveries and yet there are very many pregnant mothers here. So they have to walk all the way from here up to Maaji Two for deliveries.”

Some of the women are despatched to a different health middle. Odaru Judith is a nursing officer on the middle. She says the variety of infants born on the middle has elevated from 29 to 75 a month.

But, there’s little area for sufferers, she says.

“Our common ward could be very small,” says Judith. “It has solely 10 beds, however the variety of deliveries we now have in a day, the typical is 5, and if you take the labor room, it’s so squeezed and small that it solely matches one mattress and at occasions you have got three deliveries at a time, so making it very troublesome. You won’t also have a place the place you’ll be able to squeeze no less than a carpet for a mom to ship.”

In January, the federal government and United Nations businesses promised to spend $1 million for women’s health within the refugee camps. But the U.N. Population Fund says the camps will want 4 occasions that quantity.

I’m Jill Robbins.

Correspondent Halima Athumani reported this story from Adjumani, Uganda. Christopher Jones-Cruise tailored her report for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

coin – n. cash

conduct – v. to plan and do one thing

deliveries – n. the act or strategy of giving delivery to a child

ward – n. a piece in a hospital

squeezed – adj. to be small, not having sufficient room

carpet – n. a sort of flooring overlaying

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