When fighting erupted between armed groups and government forces in the North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in August 2007, it forced an estimated 10,000 Congolese to flee for safety over the border into Uganda. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) helped set up a transit site in Nyakabanda, situated about 10 miles from the DRC border in Uganda’s Kisoro district. Nurse Laura Cobey arrived to be field coordinator for the MSF project in October, just as a renewed surge in fighting pushed another wave of Congolese to seek refuge in Nyakabanda. Cobey describes the quick opening of the site and conditions for the estimated 13,000 people who lived there until its December closing.
Alison Wong was the pharmacist for the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) HIV/AIDS program at Arua Regional Referral Hospital in Uganda from September 2005 to October 2006. MSF began the program in 2001 to provide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to people in the region living with HIV. It has grown to include treatment for people co-infected with HIV and TB, and to establishing better decentralized care.
Janthimala Price, a midwife from Australia, spent 20 months at the Arua Hospital AIDS Program in rural northwestern Uganda. The program was set up in July 2002 by the Arua Regional Referral Hospital Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to treat HIV/AIDS patients.
Robert Levin, MD, a family physician from Minneapolis, Minnesota, returned recently from a six-month mission in Lira, a town in northern Uganda, where he treated malnourished children admitted to a therapeutic feeding center operated by MSF.
In Arua, MSF now provides medical care for nearly 3,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. In July 2004, MSF collected testimonies from patients undergoing treatment about their experiences living with HIV/AIDS before and since receiving treatment.
This Fall, tens of thousands of people sought refuge in the town of Soroti when the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacked villages in northeastern Uganda. Tonia Marquardt, MD, described the medical emergency, and how families have been torn apart, leaving many in anguish.