WHO takes urgent action to address health situation in Kulle South-Soudanese Refugee Camp, Gambella in Ethiopia

Kulle Refugee Camp Health Centre, Gambella Region, Ethiopia Kulle Refugee Camp Health Centre, Gambella Region, Ethiopia

Kulle Refugee Camp in Gambella Region, western Ethiopia, currently hosts about 35,000 of the 97,000 refugees from South Sudan taking shelter in three camps in the region. Almost 66 per cent of the refugees in Kulle are women and children. The WHO assessment team led by the WHO Representative comprising technical experts in emergency and outbreak response, malaria, water and sanitation, immunization, and communication, witnessed the concerning health conditions at the camp on 22 April 2014 whilst assessing the situation to urgently intensify WHO technical support.

The Government of Ethiopia is working hard together with humanitarian partners to improve the living conditions of the people, but a lot remains to be done as the influx of South Sudanese refugees continues, 800 to 1000 a day. In the camp, stagnant water as a result of the night rain provides a breeding ground for many vectors, presenting a number of health concerns, such as malaria.

The WHO team visited the Kulle Refugee Camp Health Centre and met with the Medical Director, Dr Abdulkarim, who highlighted the worrisome health situation to the assessment team. WHO will urgently intensify technical support to Kulle Refugee Camp in Gambella Region focusing on capacity building, disease management, immunization, IEC materials (information, education & communication), and improving cold chain management and other key health activities in the emergency context.