DRC Chaos: High Number of Expectant Mothers Worries Humanitarian Agencies

At least two thousand expectant mothers are part of the Congolese refugees who fled into Uganda last week following clashes between government forces and M23 rebels in Kamango town, Red Pepper Online has learnt.  

As a result, more than 62,000 Congolese have since fled to Bundibugyo district in Uganda. The health committee of Uganda Redcross Society-URSC says the high number of expectant mothers is e of the biggest challenges facing humanitarian agencies.  Last week, more than five women delivered as they fled Kamango following the fighting.

In a telephone interview with local media, Richard Nsubuga, the URCS Western region manager who is in Bundibugyo says that the expectant mothers have been accommodated in a special area at Bubukwanga Sub County headquarters for close monitoring by medical workers.

He says that none of the women has suffered any complications since fleeing to Uganda. Nsubuga says they have requested the Bundibugyo district leadership to provide more medical workers to attend to the women. Stephen Sesanga, the Medical Superintendent Bundibugyo Hospital, told Uganda Radio Network that they have also set up a special ward for the expectant mothers should they be brought to the hospital. He however says the hospital is constrained by lack of adequate medical workers.

According to the Red Cross, other emerging humanitarian needs are firewood and saucepans, water storage facilities, latrines and emergency health tent for health emergencies.

URCS Secretary General Michael Richard Nataka says that by Sunday, at least 66,139 refugees had been registered at the reception centre at Bubandi Primary School. He also says that they plan to conduct fresh registration at the transit centre as more refugees are still crossing into Uganda to enable humanitarian agencies and government establish numbers of those accommodated at the centre.

On Monday, the Police started moving hundreds of refugees from five reception centres of Nyahuka, Kalera, Buthogho, Bubandi and  Bundingoma to a transit camp in Bundibugyo. The transit camp camp is located in Bubukwanga Sub County, eight kilometers from Bundibugyo town towards Fort Portal. The refugees were ferried in trucks provided by the URCS and Police provided trucks. WFP has provided 54.2 metric tones of food, UNICEF water tank of 10, 000 liters and 500 essential household kits.

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