Training of local staff in the refugee camp Bubukwanga

by Simone Winneg/LKO,  2013/09/19

For the rescue teams, medical help in a refugee camp does not always mean direct treatment of the patients. Sometimes, local staff must be trained concerning the handling of the sick people and must be introduced to the recent technical equipment. humedica coordinator Simone Winneg has just come back from the refugee camp Bubukwanga in Uganda. She knows how important it is that all helpers are well-trained.

“It is hot and humid. The afternoon sun has replaced the pouring rain. The heat stays inside the tents, in which Congolese refugees and inhabitants of the Ugandan neighbor village are being treated or where they are waiting to get some medicine.

This afternoon, there are still only few patients who are waiting for their examination under the big white tents. During the last six hours, humedica and their American partner organization MTI (Medical Teams International) medical staff have treated more than 250 persons.

Most of them are suffering from respiratory diseases and from malaria. Nearly one out of three has been tested positively on this dangerous tropical disease and is now getting the vital treatment. Serious cases are being treated as in-patients – they occupy about 80 percent of the available beds.

But today, our on-site team will not only make their ward rounds, but they will also train the local staff. After a tiring day in the nearby hospital, the American nurse Mike Moxness of our partner organization MTI takes the time to show the nurses and midwives important reanimation techniques.

The motivated participants imitate patient and helper and thus train the case of emergency. “What is the first thing I have to do in the case of emergency?”, asks Mike Moxness. Fifteen young people answer jointly: “Call for help!”

Recovery position, rescue breathing and cardiac massage are on the agenda. These are topics which may be life-saving under the prevailing circumstances. In order to improve the equipment of the help station, MTI and humedica bought new bag valve masks – a device which can be found everywhere in Germany but which is completely new for the Ugandan staff.

Its use is being trained and retrained, so that the bag valve mask will really help to save lives. That’s the aim of this training: What do we do in the case of emergency? What do we need for that? Where do we find it and how do we use it adequately?

90 minutes later, the recently acquired knowledge is memorized and the answers come quickly. At the end, all participants are applauding. This evening, our Ugandan colleagues are going home with much new knowledge. Knowledge which can help to save lives in emergencies – be it in the refugee camp, in road accidents or at home.

Since August, humedica and their project partner MTI have been on site in the relocation camp Bubukwanga in order to provide urgently needed medical aid for the Congolese refugees. Thanks to the generous support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs it has been possible to treat an average of 350 patients a day.

Despite the fact that the UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency), in cooperation with the Ugandan government, is relocating people into a bigger and more comfortable camp every week, Bubukwanga is emptying only slowly. Every day, new refugees arrive at the camp.

On trucks, with big bundles on their heads and packed with everything they could carry. You can see mattresses and clothes, a water canister here and there or some pans.

In Bubukwanga they find a safe shelter, food and medical aid. With your support, dear friends and supporters, humedica can give a little hope to these refugees in their great distress. Please continue to help us with a directed donation. Thank you very much!”

      humedica e. V.
      Reference “Refugees Uganda”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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