AMREF steps in to provide emergency support to Uganda bombing victims
16th July, 2010
AMREF has dispatched a team of experts to support the Ugandan Government’s efforts to handle the aftermath of the July 11 Kampala bomb blasts. The initial team comprising Dr Patrick Akuku, a neurosurgeon, Dr Meshack Onguti, a maxillofacial/reconstructive Surgeon, and Jael Alaro, a psychologist, left for Entebbe airport aboard an AMREF plane at 12 Noon on Thursday, July 15. This followed a request from the Uganda Government to AMREF to assist in emergency care following the twin explosions that rocked Kampala city on Sunday, July 11.
The simultaneous blasts have so far resulted in 80 reported deaths, at least 40 people in critical condition at the country’s Mulago National Hospital and an unknown number in other hospitals in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
AMREF has been approached by the Uganda Government because of its experience and key role in the response to the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya; because of the current role in providing outreach services to health facilities in Uganda; and because of AMREF’s commitment to community support in the region. The members of the team going to Uganda formed part of AMREF’s core response team in 1998. The AMREF team, which will be stationed at the Mulago National Hospital, will offer support to treating victims at this and other hospitals; as well as providing an assessment for the government to inform ongoing emergency response efforts and future trauma management.
In addition, AMREF’s Outreach Program is providing emergency medical supplies worth US$30,000 to the Ugandan Government through support from AMREF in the Netherlands. Further support has so far been received from:
- AMREF in Italy
- Direct Relief International (DRI) amounting to US$30,000 to procure emergency supplies
- Johnson & Johnson, who have donated medical supplies
AMREF is also working with other potential donors to provide further support, especially in building capacity for future preparedness.
Joshua Kyallo, the AMREF in Uganda Country Director, is serving on the Uganda Ministry of Health’s Emergency Panel, which is coordinating immediate service needs. The panel, which includes other non-governmental organizations, is helping to build the capacity of both the Ministry and the NGOs to respond to this and other emergencies in the future.
Currently, AMREF’s Clinical Outreach services are on standby in case more support is required. AMREF, which was instrumental in establishing emergency structures and medium- to long-term trauma management services following the 1998 bomb blast in Nairobi, will be bringing its experience and expertise to support the development of similar structures in Uganda that address both physical and psychosocial needs.