Uganda remains the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with numerous families forced to leave their homes due to conflicts in neighbouring regions. The demand for humanitarian assistance within the hosting communities and settlements is substantial. The German Red Cross is actively collaborating with the Uganda Red Cross Society to address crucial areas such as water and sanitation, health promotion, and disaster preparedness.
The arrival of approximately 1.5 million refugees from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo presents a significant humanitarian challenge for the nation. Over 80 percent of those in search of refuge are women and children, many of whom are without access to clean drinking water, food and hygiene essentials.
Within the host areas, inadequate hygiene and sanitation conditions are a major risk factor for the spread of diseases. Uganda remains particularly vulnerable to the occurrence of haemorrhagic fevers like the Ebola virus (EVD) and Marburg virus (MVD), as well as other illnesses including yellow fever, measles, hepatitis E, and cholera. However, the capacities to deal with epidemics and large-scale outbreaks are inadequate.
To enhance the well-being and safety of families, the German Red Cross (GRC), in collaboration with its partners within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, adopts a strategy known as "community-based surveillance." This approach aims to systematically monitor and report health-related incidents and their potential dissemination among community members.
Community members are trained to recognize signs and symptoms indicative of potentially infectious diseases, and they are encouraged to report any suspected cases promptly. Upon reporting, laboratory analyses are conducted to provide early warnings of potential outbreaks and to facilitate swift responses. This community-driven alert system holds particular significance in regions with limited or absent health infrastructure.
This grassroots monitoring effort not only fosters health consciousness among families but also empowers them to actively engage in preventive and protective measures.
This project has a twofold objective: firstly, to bolster the capabilities of the Uganda Red Cross Society in community-based surveillance (CBS), disaster preparedness, and health promotion; and secondly, to contribute to the enhancement of water and sanitation conditions.
As one of the largest humanitarian organisations in the country, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) is one of the most experienced national relief organisations when it comes to managing epidemics and delivering humanitarian assistance. This expertise is particularly notable in the realms of hygiene, water, and sanitation (WASH).
Through the Red Cross Action Teams and National Disaster Response Teams training programmes, the GRC supports the Uganda Red Cross Society in building capacity in communities to respond appropriately to emergencies and crisis situations.
Project Objective: Community-based WASH and Health Assistance to South Sudanese refugees and host communities in West Nile, Uganda and strengthening of URCS epidemic preparedness
Uganda, West Nile - Palorinya Settlements
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2023
Federal Foreign Office, Global Project, GRC / Donations
Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS)