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UGANDA: FREE MEDICAL SERVICES THRILL VULNERABLE AND UNDERSERVED PEOPLE IN AFRICA

 

By Leilah Baale

Vulnerable, underserved people of medical services are now receiving free tests and treatment in Kikuube district, Kyangwali refugee camp.

Thanks to a Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), ACCESS project that is funded by UK aid in Uganda.

KIBUUKE-UGANDA: Glorious Nyamukiza, Kikuube Assistant District Health Office says the refugees, close to 130,000 receive free Family Planning (FP), maternal health services, cervical cancer screening, malaria, HIV testing and sexual Gender based violence counseling (SGBV) from four private Health Centre III’s set up in the camp.

These include Rwenyawawa, Maratatu, Kasonga and Ngurwe Health Centers located inside Kyangwali refugee camp.

 

“The camp is big with Health Centre’s set apart. This poses a few challenges to the vulnerable, underserved refugees who trek for more than 40 kilometers to access free lifesaving, medical services at the health facilities courtesy of Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU)” Nyamukiza says.

 

Paul Kayibire, a medical In- Charge at Rwenyawawa Health Centre III commends the free medical services offered by Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), within Kyangwali refugee camp. He says the ACCESS project, run by RHU, to serve the vulnerable, marginalized and underserved communities in the camp, save many lives, introduce birth control methods and help in counselling of the among the refugees who manifest with physical and psychological medical challenges upon arrival at the Rwenyawawa Health Centre III.

 

“we provide sexual reproductive health rights services (SRHR), Family Planning (FP), cervical cancer and HIV tests to the refugees. The challenge is the patients have beliefs that giving births to many children accounts for their dead relatives from their countries of origin and this has dwarfed FP uptake. But Antenatal Care (ANT) is embraced at 98%” Kayibire says.

 

According to Rwenyawawa Health Centre III, data between 70 to 120 mothers deliver safely every month, while an average between 120 – 150 turn up for ANC serves every month. The statistics increased in the last one year following the introduction of the ACCESS project funded by UK aid in Kikuube district, Kyangwali refugee camp.

Adds that all together an average of 500 people access frees sexual and reproductive health medical services per monthly.

 

“The ACCESS project run by RHU and funded by UK aid, has helped bridge the gap by bringing the health serves nearer to the patients and offering them free tests, counseling and medication” Paul Kayibire, a medical In- Charge at Rwenyawawa Health Centre III says.

 

27 – year – old Alliance Hakizimana Mwamini, a resident of Namiganda village in Kyangwali refugee camp, a mother of four children appreciates the SRHR and other medical services offered by the ACCESS project in Kyangwali refugee camp.

 

“I get treatment free of charge on time and this has saved my life and that of my children. Whenever I get pregnant, I am tested for pregnancy and HIV, to start ANC immediately. The last time of pregnancy, I was tested and physically escorted to Rwenyawawa Health Centre III to start ANC” Hakizimana says.

 

She has since then enrolled on long-term family planning (FP) methods to space her children. The free health services are also offered in other parts of the Kikuube district local government.

 

Evelyn Nabwami, 31 a mother of four from Kitunduli cell in Buhimba parish received a three months long Family planning injection from Buhimba health Centre III. She says, the reason behind her enrolment to Family Planning (FP) to breast feed her five months old baby, unlike in the past where she got pregnant, two months after giving birth to her second child.

 

Several women in Kikuube district have enrolled to use family planning methods in order to space their child births, but also to concentrate and care for the children they have at present.

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