Uganda/Eastern Congo: relief team arrives and takes charge of refugee camp

by Steffen Richter,  2008/11/17

The situation in the border triangle of Congo, Ruanda and Uganda is still dramatic: Thousands are fleeing from the ongoing fighting between paramilitary militia and Government troops. Meanwhile, the humedica relief team has reached its destination Kisoro on the border to Eastern Congo and has started working.

Visit by German doctors: The humedica team on their way through the border villages, talking to refugees. Photo: humedica

In consultation with the UNHCR and other relief organisations the team members Markus Köhler, Helmut Schrader, Sjoerd van den Heuvel, doctor Dr. Siegfried Gall and nurse Sabine Schalber have meanwhile taken charge of a refugee contact point in the town.

In this small camp in Kisoro, an kind of transit point for refugees from Eastern Congo, arrivals get registered and checked. Depending on the results, the staff will decide on a case by case basis, whether further transport to the official refugee centre Nyakibale is possible and advisable.

Since there is sufficient medical staff present with adequate quantities of drugs at their disposal from the so-called medi-kit 3000, humedica can offer extra consultation hours, which, according to first reports from team leader Markus Köhler, are gratefully and frequently made use of.

On average, refugees stay two or three days in this temporary camp in Kisoro, before many are transferred to Nyakibale. A rapid enlargement of the Kisoro camp is however being considered, in order to relieve the pressure on Nyakibale, and also in order to be able to offer a direct and adequately serviced contact point for refugees in the border region.

humedica is conducting talks on organisational issues with UN representatives, who are also active in the region, with an eye to assuming medium-term responsibility for the camp in Kisoro.

6-year old Cesia is one of many child refugees in a merciless civil war. Photo: humedica

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