Generous Donors Helped Save Clinics in Uganda

Last Updated: June 6, 2018

Generous donors like you gave $70,000 to Relief International in late 2017 to save three refugee healthcare clinics in Uganda. Thanks to additional funding streams, RI's health teams in Uganda continue to save lives.

Palorinya Settlement, UGANDA — When Madelina Ayuru returned to her village, it was empty.

She searched for her family and for her neighbors, but found only a woman about to flee who scolded her. 

“You are still behind?!” Madelina recalls the woman saying. “The people have run away towards the border because the war has come here.”

The war, of course, is the one in South Sudan, and that January day while Madelina was visiting the capital city of Juba, violence swept nearly everyone out of her village near the Ugandan border.

She joined the throngs heading south, where she learned that her five children were among those fleeing.

After two days on foot, she crossed into Uganda and went to Palorinya, where more than 180,000 refugees now live. Her children are still missing. She has had news that her husband survived the fighting that day, but later died of a respiratory infection.  

Madelina knows that her husband’s fate could be hers or that of many others in the settlement. Seven months into her new life in Palorinya, Madelina sought treatment at RI's Clinic 1C suffering from persistent coughing and chest pain. Sunday Alaru, a clinical officer at that time, diagnosed Madelina with pneumonia after a thorough exam and lab tests to rule out tuberculosis and other possible illnesses.

“When there is no clinic and I become sick, there is nothing I can do,” Madelina told Relief International’s Uganda Team Leader at the time, Vijay Narayan. “There is no money. How can I pay to go somewhere else? The only thing is to wait for the disease to kill me.”

But disease will not kill Madelina or anybody else if Relief International can help it. Clinic staff work six days a week, often with little rest, to provide the high-quality healthcare that Madelina and more than 20,000 refugees a month rely on. 

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Photo: Madelina (center) describing her symptoms to former Clinical Officer Sunday Aluru (right), with Alex Pitia translating. Alex is also a refugee from South Sudan.

With $70,000 from generous individual donors like you, RI secured an additional $200,000 from LDS Charities to keep the clinics open through 2017. Today, RI provides healthcare to refugees in Palorinya Settlement with generous funding from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).   

“I don’t want the clinic to close,” Madelina said, “because if it does, sincerely in my community people will be dying.”