A Remarkable Recovery: Pablo

Pablo Ng’asike, a 13-month-old boy from Loareng Village in Turkana County, was admitted to Lodwar District Hospital with Kwashiorkor (a form of malnutrition that occurs when there is not enough protein in the diet), severe anemia, oedema+++ (also known as dropsy, is where there is an excessive build-up of fluid in the body’s tissues), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) and very high fever. Pablo is the 2nd born in a family with six children. The mother and father are alive but very sickly. The mother is a housewife and the father is a herdsman. On admission Pablo had massive swelling of his face, high fever and was gasping in pain. (warning: graphic image below)

Treatment & Medication:

Septrin 1.5ml OD

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RMF Reunites 2nd Year Nursing Student Peter Atiep with his Family

written by Dr. Taban Martin Vitale

Peter Atiep is a South Sudanese national from Upper Nile State, Baliet County. A second year nursing student of Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery (JCONAM), Peter is married to Ajak Abe Nyok and they have 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys): Abuk Atiep Kur, a 10-year-old girl; Awol Atiep Kur, an 8-year-old boy; Monyuat Atiep Kur, a 6-year-old boy; Nyalueth Atiep Kur, a 3-year-old girl and Nyanlong Atiep Kur a baby girl of 3 months.

When the fight broke out in Juba in mid-December 2013, Peter and his family were in his home town Baliet, which was overrun by the opposition forces on January 11th, 2014. As everyone took cover and ran for their safety, Peter was separated from his wife and they were not able to locate each other at that time. Peter ran with the first three children (Abuk, Awol and Monyuat) and his wife ran with the 3-year-old child and the baby. Peter finally made his way to Palogue (Malut County in Upper Nile State), then to Juba on January 19th, 2014 and immediately proceeded to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. He left the children there with a relative and returned to Juba to continue with his studies at JCONAM. Fortunately, Peter managed to connect with his wife who took refuge in Renk County (Upper Nile State) and requested she come to Palogue where there is an operational airstrip with regular Dar Petroleum flights. Peter desperately wanted to reunite with his wife and children but was unable to afford to airlift his wife/children from Palogue to Juba and to Kakuma to reunite with the three children.

During this critical moment, RMF stepped in and facilitated the transportation of Peter’s wife and the children from Palogue to Juba by air on March 28th, 2014 and then to Kakuma refugee camp by road on March 30th, 2014. Peter confirmed to RMF the arrival of his wife and children to Kakuma.

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Trip to Uganda: School Support

When the Kenyan refugees arrived at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in 2008, there was very little support in terms of school fees for their children, and there was no nursery school at the settlement. RMF stepped forward to establish a school support program to cover fees and supplies for Nursery, Primary and Secondary School children of the Kenyan refugee community at Kiryandongo. In the subsequent years, students from (South) Sudan, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda have been accepted into our program as well. RMF pays a portion of the tuition fees, school uniforms, school supplies, and exam fees for the students of parents unable to afford the fees. We also cover the cost and travel expenses for the final examination tests for the senior high school students. Up to 1,602 students have been sponsored per month.

The refugee children we currently support are from Kenya, Congo, Burundi, Sudan and attend the following schools in the settlement: Beth Cole Nursery School; Day Star Nursery School; Arnold Primary School; Can Rom Primary School; Panyadoli Secondary School. We also continued to provide funding for the annual registration of candidates in Senior Level Four and Senior Level Six that are in our sponsorship program and facilitated candidates taking their national exams in the city of Masindi.

The massive influx of South Sudanese refugee children has created an additional tremendous need. Many of these children are severely traumatized and need urgent psychological trauma support. In many of the class rooms we visited on February 24 and 25, South Sudanese children outnumbered all others. Their stories are heartbreaking. To help, please visit our website.

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Trip to Uganda: Panyadoli Health Centers


This Level III Health Center’s target population is about 60,000 residents in the Bweyale region, including 41,000 Ugandan IDPs, Bududa survivors, and Refugees from Kenya, Sudan, Congo, Burundi and Rwanda which are the main target population. In the past, the large influxes included that of 10,000 new Ugandan IDPs in October 2010 and another 15,000 joined the Kiryandongo Resettlement Camp at the end of May 2011.

The Panyadoli Health Center treats as many as 3,000 patients per month, for a wide variety of issues including malaria, malnutrition, maternal and child care, and HIV/AIDS; cases requiring tertiary care are referred to the closest county hospital.

With an additional influx of more than 12,000 refugees since December 2013 (as of February 24), and an expected additional 40,000 coming, resources are seriously strained.

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Trip to Uganda: Kiryandongo Refugee Camp

In the evening on February 23 RMF’s South Sudan and Uganda teams parted ways and Martina and crew drove to the Kiryandongo Refugee/ Resettlement Camp.


RMF has been serving Ugandans, Ugandan IDPs and refugees from other African nations since April 2008, when the RMF team first arrived from the US to the Mulanda Refugee Transit Centre, giving emergency assistance to the large influx of Kenyan Refugees escaping political violence in Kenya.  This emergency help was initially in the form of psychological trauma and social support, school fee subsidies, clothing, care kits and seeds for the refugees to start their own small gardens.  During this initial phase of emergency assistance, help was also provided to the surrounding local Ugandan communities of Tororo through the Mella Health Centre, St. Anthony’s Hospital, the Mama Kevina Comprehensive School, and the youth in the slums surrounding the Mama Kevina School.

When the Kenyan refugees were eventually transferred from the Mulanda Transit Centre to the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in mid-2008, the RMF team followed and continued to provide school support, medicines and medical supplies, and other projects as needed.  RMF also continued to maintain its presence in Tororo.

Since those early days, RMF has greatly expanded its support and development initiatives at the Kiryandongo Settlement to both Ugandan IDPs and refugees from numerous other African nations with Vocational Training, Water System Repair and upgrades, School Fee Support, Support of Kiryandongo’s Panyadoli Health Center with continuous medicine and medical supplies as well as personnel support; RMF also continues its support to the Mama Kevina Boarding School and Orphanage, and is now also constructing additional buildings on the school’s campus.

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to Uganda: Adjumani District, West Nile

On February 22 Dr. Fuchs and crew crossed the border into Uganda an drove to Adjumani, West Nile. Sunday morning RMF’s South Sudan and Uganda team leaders met in Adjumani to assess the Adjumani District refugee situation


We met with the Settlement Commander at the Office of the Prime Minister’s Refugee Desk in Pakele and briefed him about RMF’s work in South Sudan and Uganda, where the refugee situation is becoming more and more overwhelming. RMF’s main areas of intervention would be healthcare and education.

We visited 2 of the 5 camps in the area, Nyumazi 1 and Ayuilo, each of them with more than 20,000 refugees from South Sudan, mainly Jonglei and Unity States. More than 65% of refugees registered here are school age children, many of them unaccompanied minors. It is projected that the number of refugees in West Nile will continue to rise to 70,000 or more. 40,000 refugees from West Nile alone are expected to move on to Kiryandongo Refugee Camp, where RMF has been working since 2008.

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to South Sudan: Nimule Hospital and IDP Camps

On February 22 Martina and crew drove from Juba to the South Sudan/Uganda border to visit Nimule Hospital and Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps on the South Sudan side, and refugee camps on the Ugandan side of the border.



Nimule Hospital started in the early 1970s as a clinic and was upgraded to a hospital in 1983. Interventions are in 3 main areas: Healthcare, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS. The bed capacity of Nimule Hospital is 174 beds, which is very small considering it serves the entire population of Magwi County (287,000 people), travelers from Uganda, and other neighboring counties in Central Equatoria State, and now in addition the more than 50,000 South Sudanese IDPs relocated to Nimule. Nimule Hospital departments and services include: OPD; MCH, ART, TB, and Sleeping Sickness Programs; OR, Pediatrics, Maternity Department; one ambulance for referral cases.

Since RMF South Sudan was asked to support Nimule Hospital, we met with Medical Director Dr. David Nyuma and his team.



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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to South Sudan: Pediatric Ward

As part of my visit, we followed up on RMF’s work at the Pediatric Wards of Juba Teaching Hospital. As part of a Health Systems Strengthening project, RMF began upgrading the infrastructure at JTH in the spring of 2013, starting with the wards of the Pediatric Department. RMF is also supporting the procurement of furniture, medical equipment, and supplies for the Pediatric Department.

Milestones achieved include the full renovation of Pediatric Wards 5 and 7 (total bed capacity of 120 beds), development of guidelines and policies and provision of supplies for the maintenance of the renovated Pediatric Wards; recruitment of additional staff; removal and disposal of large amounts of regular and medical waste, and design and initiation of a waste disposal management program; training of nursing staff in charge in various departments on the importance of infection control and waste segregation in the wards/outpatient departments; procurement of protective gear; facilitation of and regular monitoring and supportive supervision of the JTH healthcare workers on policy guidelines; support of high speed Wi-Fi internet services for JTH Resource Centre providing internet access to doctors and nurses at the hospital; assessment for improving water and sanitation situation at JTH; pilot training program on Respectful Maternity Care.

The renovation of the Pediatric Wards has reduced re-infection rates among children on admission and also improved working conditions for healthcare professionals and JCONAM (Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery) students on their clinical rotations, and, above all, increased the quality of care patients receive and started to increase the number of patients coming for medical treatment.

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CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs’ 2014 Visit to South Sudan

I just received Martina’s report from her trip to South Sudan and Uganda from February 12 to March 2. There is a lot of information and many, many photos so I’m going to split the report into several posts. Check back all this week for more coverage!


From February 12-22 Martina visited the Outpatient Department/Accident & Emergency Department at Juba Teaching Hospital to evaluate the situation and needs with Dr Mayen Achiek, Assistant Professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, Consultant Surgeon, Juba Teaching Hospital. The hospital is overcrowded as a result of the current crisis so patients are sleeping two to a bed and even on the floor; there is one nurse for up to 40 patients.

We also followed up on RMF’s projects in South Sudan, i.e. Juba College of Nursing and Midwifery; Juba Teaching Hospital projects and held follow up meetings with Master Trainers of the Respectful Maternity Care Training Pilot Program and with the team, partners, and stakeholders, in addition to meetings with the Ministry of Health and JTH.

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Community Nutrition Educators Use Film Screenings to Improve Health Outcomes

The Steady Fight Against Malnutrition – RMF Community Nutrition Educators Work to Improve Health Outcomes by Michael Matheke-Fischer, Country Director, India

Convincing people to adopt healthier behaviors can be a difficult job. In Southwestern Madhya Pradesh, where RMF’s Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs) work in 600 villages across 5 districts everyday, targeted health education is crucial to combating malnutrition. For four years, each CNE has patiently worked in communities, identifying children and families in need of counseling, referring serious cases to treatment, and building crucial bonds with the community. Since 2010, our program has reached over 400,000 people with targeted health and nutrition messages.

Children attend a screening with their mothers in Khandwa

While not flashy or particularly glamorous, RMF’s boots-on-the-ground, or more accurately, chappals-on-the-ground, have been a steady and formidable force fighting malnutrition and increasing ownership of nutrition outcomes in some of the most difficult communities in the world. Each CNE’s relationship with her communities is crucial to improving nutrition and health related knowledge. These relationships are priceless, and earned through tireless efforts over four years of extremely hot summers and monsoon seasons of flooded and washed out roads. (Read about CNE Gendha Didi here).

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