Angolan Refugees Face Critical Shortage of Drugs

News and Press Release
Originally published
LUSAKA (Feb. 14) XINHUA - Angolan refugees in Western province of Zambia are suffering from a critical shortage of drugs, according to Zambia News Agency.

Sinjembela refugee center has been hit with an outbreak of malaria, dysentery, tinea fungous infection and connectives which can not be treated due to lack of drugs.

UNICEF officer Paul Mutale who is in the area to offer medical services said there drugs are needed as malaria and dysentery are deadly.

Mutale said among the sick are frail old women, malnourished babies, pregnant women and the amputees.

He expressed concern on the non availability of family planning centers at the refugee center and around the villages as most of them have more than six little children each.

More than 4,000 refugees arrived at Sinjembela primary school Sunday making the school congested with refugees.

Foreign Minister Keli Walubika said the situation is out of hand as the four block classroom can not accommodate the 4,000 plus refugees.

Classes at Sinjembela Primary School in Shangombo District of the province have in the meantime been suspended because classrooms and their surroundings have been occupied by Angolan Refugees fleeing fighting between the government forces and the rebels back home.

In another development, Walubita has bemoaned the shortage of transport to transport the Angolan refugees around Sinjembela area close to the border with Angola to the new refugee settlement at Nangweshi.

He appealed to the international donor community for provision of food, medicine, shelter, water and sanitation to the refugees.

Addressing more than 500 Angolan refugees at Sinjembela Primary School on Sunday Walubita told them of the Zambian government's deepest sympathies over the happenings in their Country resulting in them being displaced.

He assured the refugees that the government would do every thing possible to safeguard them while in Zambia.

Walubita, however, regretted that only 1011 out of more than 14,000 refugees that are settled at the Sinjembela area have so far been moved to the new refugee settlement because of transport problems while the rest are languishing in forests and the plain near the Zambian-Angolan border.

Copyright (c) 2000 Comtex Scientific Corporation
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 02/14/2000 15:58:31