Even in a refugee camp, you often hear laughter, in spite of difficult circumstances and traumatic experiences. Photo: humedica / Heidi Nicklin
"Our work is immensely important.”
Nurse Philipp Nowack reports from Uganda
“Hello, my dear friends, today I (Philipp) would like to give you an account of my aid mission in Uganda. I’ve been here for four weeks now. Together with a doctor and two coordinators, I (as a nurse) take care of Congolese refugees and the local population in a health centre of the border town Bunagana.
Currently, the conflict between rebel army and government troops is flaring up again in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The local population escapes to the neighbour country of Uganda to flee the fighting in their home country.
Here in Uganda, the refugees are granted asylum and given free medical care. Since Uganda is a developing country as well – and therefore not capable of providing the necessary aid on its own – humedica is supporting the country at a critical spot.
Even though fighting flares up again and again in the neighbour country and sometimes gunfire can be heard, the situation is safe here in Mutolere, about 20 km east of the Congolese border. We are housed in a guest house of the St. Francis hospital and can move freely in town. A further member of our team is a local interpreter, who helps us with the verbal communication and many other things.
Most of our patients suffer from infections of the upper respiratory tract and from gastric diseases due to the poor food situation. Apart from that, surgical interventions are part of our daily work here. Wounds we would barely attend to during our workday in Schleswig-Holstein, become infected here due to the lack of hygiene, so that abscesses develop that urgently need treatment.
How important it is also to treat smaller injuries is shown by the example of a girl who came to our health centre on my second day in Uganda. While working in the fields, she had accidentally cut her left leg with an axe. Since the family has no car and there are no ambulances here to take people to the hospital, the girl was carried to us by her mother.
The wound had a length of about seven centimetres, only had a makeshift bandage on it and was still bleeding heavily. After cleaning the wound with the simplest medical means, I sutured it with seven stitches. Moreover, the girl received an antibiotic as well as a tetanus vaccination.
We had the girl come to the clinic every day to change her bandages and monitor the healing process. On the second day already, the girl was able to visit us without the help of her mother. The wound healed well and on the tenth day we were able to remove the stitches.
This little story demonstrates me the importance of our work here. The girl’s injury was not immediately life-threatening. Yet without our help the wound would have become infected and the consequences would probably have been a sepsis or the loss of her leg.
I am going to stay here in Uganda with my team till the middle of November and I hope to be able to help many more patients, little ones and grown-ups, in that time.”
You too have the opportunity to help the Congolese refugees and local people of Uganda! None of our medical teams can help people without the support of your donations. Our work is equally dependent on you, the support of the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and our volunteer teams. Thank you so much for your love and support!
humedica e. V.
Reference „Refugee Aid Uganda“
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB