As the country of Uganda emerges from Africa’s longest war, it faces a new set of challenges. During the war, many people suffered from disease, malnutrition and other things that were exacerbated by the displacement associated with war. However, many of those struggles haven’t disappeared with the peoples’ return to villages. Many families have been forced to relocate entirely after the war due to many other factors.
The average person in Northern Uganda faces a great deal of health struggles in their everyday life, many that could be changed through minimal intervention. The health issues they face continue to kill large numbers of people and their lack of attention internationally has made life difficult for people who have survived the days of conflict.
GRI has maintained a presence in this area of Northern Uganda since 2005, in the heart of the conflict. While many other organizations have chased grant funding for other projects outside Uganda, GRI has continued to stay in this area as the enormous health needs of the people have grown.
In the fall of 2011, new data began to emerge, in the area of public health, that led GRI to create “The 5” campaign. The 5 aims to reduce the burden of Cholera, Dysentery (Diarrhea), Malaria, Pneumonia and Malnutrition which are together responsible for 95% of the death toll on displaced people around the world. This campaign allows GRI to focus much more energy on these major causes of death; which are also the most fatal diseases in Uganda. In February 2012, GRI conducted a wide-ranging health assessment of Oyam district in Northern Uganda. As expected, Malaria continues to lead , all other causes of death, despite efforts by many different actors in the past. This led GRI to create the Global Refuge Malaria Initiative.
In two years, GRI treated 12,989 people with malaria and educated 104,592.