In January, Uganda received nearly 5,900 refugees, including 3,534 children, from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi.
Uganda remains free of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) with no cases reported. This is attributed to the heightened Ebola preparedness and prevention interventions in the areas of WASH and risk communication and social mobilisation.
Nearly 200,000 household visits were conducted through UNICEF supported risk communication and mobilisation activities.
The Government of Uganda with support from UNICEF is containing the on-going cholera and measles outbreaks.
The draft Education Response Plans for Arua, Moyo and Yumbe have been shared with task force members for review, and a training on Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies was conducted with education stakeholders in Arua district.
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Appeal for Children is only nine per cent funded, potentially hindering the organisation’s response to the urgent needs of children and women affected by emergencies in 2019.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
According to UNHCR and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Uganda received nearly 5,900 refugees from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi, with the majority coming from DRC in the month of January. Sixty percent of the refugee population are children. The political and humanitarian situations remain unpredictable in both South Sudan and the DRC. Refugees from South Sudan are in fear of attacks by fighters from either side of the conflict inside the country, while those from DRC report inter-ethnic clashes and fear of post -election violence. Burundians indicate several reasons for leaving their country including insecurity and family reunification.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) launched the Health Sector Integrated Refugee Response Plan 2019 – 2024 on January. The plan is expected to cost an estimated $583.4 million and will see the Government strengthen the provision, quality and coverage of health services in refugee hosting districts. Speaking at the launch, Uganda’s Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said including refugees in the National Development Plan demonstrates Uganda’s commitment to the principle of ‘leave no one behind’ in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ebola Preparedness and Response: Uganda remains EVD free, and the MoH has not reported any confirmed cases in the country. Community based surveillance for EVD cross border activities between DRC and Uganda continues, including coordinated contact tracing.
Cholera: As of 31 January 2019, 45 cumulative cases had been reported with two community deaths (CFR = 4.4 per cent).
Since the outbreak on 4 January 2019, 12 out of 15 samples collected tested positive for Vibrio Cholerae 01 Ogawa.
Measles: As of 31 January 2019, the expanded programme on immunisation (EPI) of the Ministry of Health investigated and confirmed a measles outbreak in 7 out of 12 districts that had suspected cases. This outbreak is a continuation of the 2018 measles outbreak that affected 79 districts in Uganda.