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A half decade legacy of providing primary health care at Nduta refugee camp – northwest Tanzania

MSF has decided to focus on specialized and secondary health care with the aim of improving the quality of care for refugees and host communities.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - After five years of managing primary health care in the Nduta refugee camp, in Kibondo district, the international medical humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), is handing over three of its basic health care facilities to the Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS). MSF will continue to provide secondary health care services in the camp through its 122-bed hospital, while continuing to facilitate emergency referrals to the nearby district hospital in Kibondo.

With TRCS experience in managing primary health care and its willingness to deliver basic health services in Nduta refugee camp, MSF has decided to focus on specialized and secondary health care with the aim of improving the quality of care for refugees and host communities. This year, MSF will be implementing malaria control activities, such as mapping of mosquito breeding sites and larvaciding, to four surrounding villages in Kibondo district; Nengo, Kumhasha, Diturana and Maloregwa.

“The Tanzanian Red Cross has a long history of providing health care to refugees in the region” said Hassan Miyaki, MSF’s country representative in Tanzania. “We are now working to ensure a smooth handover with the TRCS, and will strive to continue our collaboration so that refugees and host communities can benefit from our complementary health services in the Nduta refugee camp”.

MSF will continue to maintain emergency response capacity in order to swiftly respond to disease outbreaks in the camp. Last year, MSF responded quickly and effectively to various diseases at the camp including malaria, digestive and respiratory related diseases, while increasing awareness among the population and reinforcing capacity for curative services at the hospital.

MSF has been running primary health care in Nduta camp since 2016; six health posts were operational at different phases of which only three health posts are running as of January 2021. With a gradual reduction of the refugee population over the years, MSF has continued to adapt its health services in the camp.

Over the years, our outpatient consultations have reduced immensely from an average of 34,632 consultations in 2017 to 18,953 in 2020 per month. These mostly include malaria, diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. In the same period, consultations for sexual health reproductive care including ante-natal and post-natal care and family planning have reduced from an average of 3,911 consultations to 3,082; while mental health care consultations have increased from 476 consultations to 955 respectively. 

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers free emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliations. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality.


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