Nairobi/Kampala October 8 2015: Staff from the Australian High Commission in Nairobi visited refugee settlements in south-western Uganda today. The team observed services being provided to Burundian refugees and congratulated the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) for providing key sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services through the SPRINT Initiative.
“Australia is proud to support IPPF-SPRINT’s work in Uganda which provides essential reproductive health services to refugees. This visit was an excellent opportunity to witness the great work done by IPPF-SPRINT, including care for mothers and newborn babies, family planning services, and HIV-STI and cervical cancer screening and treatment” said Australia’s High Commissioner in Nairobi, John Feakes.
Australia is committed to supporting sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings and has partnered with IPPF-SPRINT since 2007. SRH complications are a leading cause of death and disability among women and girls around the world, but are often overlooked during emergencies. Women, girls and babies are placed at risk through a sudden loss of medical support, a lack of family planning information and maternal healthcare services. Sexual and gender based violence also increases during conflicts due to socio-economical and political situations.
Australia is supporting IPPF-SPRINT to provide services to the displaced population, many who have fled recent violence in Burundi. The response started in July 2015 in close collaboration with the Office of Prime Minister and UNHCR. More than 45,000 people have accessed essential reproductive health services.
Through this response, IPPF-SPRINT and Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) are operating clinics in refugee settlement areas. Services include health check-ups, safe delivery and care of newborns, post-natal care to pregnant and lactating women as well as family planning and reproductive health care to women and men, and HIV-STI and cervical cancer screening & management services.
“We have access to range of reproductive health services along with cervical cancer screening through IPPF-SPRINT camps. We had never received such services by any other” said a Burundian refugee.
“IPPF-SPRINT is delivering IPPF’s mandate to reach out and provide reproductive health services to the most vulnerable, neglected and hard to reach communities worldwide,” said, Lucien Kouakou, Regional Director, IPPF-ARO