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.
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.
PANYADOLI HEALTH CENTER III – KIRYANDONGO REFUGEE CAMP
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Patients at the A&E Department only find space on the floor outside
Many beds hold 2 or more patients
Many patients stay days, sometimes weeks here
Patient on the floor, final stage AIDS
Dr. Mayen Achiek and RMF’s Okang Wilson Ezekiel
X-ray division at the OPD
The only examination table for the OB/Gyn OPD
Exhausted mother and baby on the floor of the OPD
Patients on the floor of the OPD
Mothers and babies
We also followed upon 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.
excerpt from a report by Tita Dumagsa, Tony Dumagsa and Jonathan White
On February 26th, Real Medicine Foundation received and distributed a second donation of medical supplies. International Relief & Development (IRD) generously provided the shipment as part of our ongoing Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda relief efforts.
Dr. Minerva Millor and her team, Dr. James Najarro of Bantayan Hospital, Ms. Imelda Calungsod of Bogo City Provincial Hospital, Mr. Mansueto Luche, the Hospital Administrative Director of Daan Bantayan Hospital, several midwives and 20 support workers unloaded a 40-foot container of general medical supplies, including much needed dressings, surgical kits and IV supplies, among other items.
RMF Philippines Project Directors Tony and Tita Dumagsa, Board Member and VP of CITAA, Engr. Charlie Ng, and CITAA Board Member Engr. Marno Arcenas, whose car and services were used to transport the shipment to Bogo, acted as representatives for RMF and IRD.
The large crew of volunteers was able to unload the container in record time — they started at 8:30am and finished by 9:36am!
Recent fighting has driven more than 65,000 refugees from DRC into Uganda and an update from RMF’s Panyadoli Health Center in Uganda confirms “the situation continues to be desperate, especially for small children and pregnant women.” RMF has provided a large supply of medicines and supplies to Bundibugyo Refugee Settlement and we have been asked to continue supplying medicine that is not being provided by other NGOs. Urgent priorities include additional shelter, water sources, communal kitchens, vaccination clinics for children under five, as well as support to existing health centers.
But there is good news despite the gravity of the situation. Since RMF started supplying medication, equipment and supplies to the health center, patients and the local community at large are thankful for the services provided but also for positively impacting the community attitude. RMF has been able to provide critical support through the Panyadoli Health Center and patients are getting the attention they need.
Nyamatora Charity, for example, a 2-year-old Ugandan national/IDP living with her parents in the resettlement community was admitted to Panyadoli with severe malaria. After three days as an inpatient Nyamatora Charity was discharged following successful treatment. Her mother says, “Ever since we were brought to this settlement as internally displaced people, we have never seen any problems in medical services in this health center. This is especially true when Real Medicine Foundation started supplying medical equipment like drugs, blankets, mosquito nets and many other items. That’s why I myself always have hope of getting fair treatment in Panyadoli Health Centre. What I have loved here most is the work force in all departments are supported by Real Medicine Foundation by employing other staff in different departments has eased the work load of the hospital. Thank you to those who donate funds to Real Medicine Foundation in support of this health center.”
CEO Dr. Martina Fuchs traveled to Bantayan Island to assess the medical situation following Typhoon Haiyan (the main hospital suffered serious damage) and learned that the typhoon practically decimated the fishing industry as well; 90% of households depend on fishing. Here are a few photographs from that trip.