The situation at the Ethiopian-Somalian border remains tight – more refugees keep arriving at the camps daily

by Daria Napieraj,  2011/08/18

Over the past few days, the humedica team deployed in the south of Ethiopia visited all four of the currently existing refugee camps and was able to collect detailed information about the conditions prevailing there. This information is the basis for decisions regarding further relief measures. Coordinator Daria Napieraj gives us an overview:

Conditions at the Ethiopian-Somalian border continue to be highly problematic for thousands of refugees. Photo: humedica/Daria Napieraj

At all the camps, people still depend on comprehensive support. In particular the Bokolomanyo and Malkadida camps are struggling with large shortfalls in supply. These are the two largest refugee camps in the south of Ethiopia. While Bokolomanyo counts more than 37,000 refugees, the number even amounts to almost 40,000 at Malkadida.

Although these two camps have existed for some time, conditions are still problematic above all in the field of medical care. Therefore, for a start, humedica will implement medical relief measures at these two locations.

The number of medical staff at the camps is far too low for the extremely large number of inhabitants. And then, most of the refugees are in a bad state of health, which substantially aggravates the already difficult situation. But most of all, there is a lack of trained medical staff. At both camps’ health stations, patients are hardly ever attended by doctors.

At Malkadida, the largest refugee camp, there is so far only one single health station for 40,000 people. Apart from the fact that this single station cannot take care of all the patients, it is also hardly reachable for many of the patients due to the large distance they would have to walk within the camp. Many people are too weak to make the large distance to the health station by foot.

Due to the urgent demand, humedica will set up a second health station at Malkadida. The city administration has already provided us with a piece of land on the camp grounds. The health station we will set up will not only provide medical care to the refugees, but also to the local population. Also the Ethiopians themselves are severely affected by the drought and many of them suffer from mal- and undernutrition.

humedica will take on a long-term medical commitment at the existing refugee camps. Photo: humedica/Daria Napieraj

The land for the new health station is another promising starting point for the work of humedica. Besides housing the health station, the property can also be used for storage of drugs and various other relief goods.

Due to the continuing flow of refugees, so far no improvement of the dramatic situation is in sight. Therefore it is all the more important for this project to focus on sustainability. For this purpose, we are also planning to train medical staff. This is will hopefully allow us to hand over the operations of the health station to local staff after the situation will have improved.

Medical care conditions at the neighbouring camp of Bokolomanyo are very similar to those at Malkadida. Therefore, humedica will offer medical aid also at this location, and we are probably also going to establish a second health station for the numerous persons who are suffering from diseases and undernutrition.

Please continue supporting our important work at the Horn of Africa by means of a targeted donation. Thank you very much!

       humedica e.V.
       Donation reference “Famine relief Africa”
       Account 47 47
       Bank Code 734 500 00
       Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also support our relief measures at the Horn of Africa by means of an online donation or by sending a text message: send the reference DOC to 8 11 90 and make a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica disaster relief projects.

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