(Amal Abdullah Mohamed Omar, Gashora, Rwanda)
“I was admitted at AHA Rwanda’s ETM Clinic, they detected that I was six months pregnant, with high blood pressure and pitting edema. I spent two months there and gave birth prematurely due to Preeclampsia. During this time AHA Rwanda took care of me, they hired a caregiver who speaks Arabic, I received medical checkups, shelter, and food items on a monthly basis.”
Tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war, in search of a better life are trapped in Libya, a country torn apart by years of war. Instead of being protected, they are met with a catalogue of appalling struggles. Amal was no exception. She fled the war that was fueling in her hometown Nyala, Sudan. Her hopes of traversing to Europe were intercepted by smugglers who detained and exposed her to a vicious cycle of abuse. “A lot of bad things happened to us there, malnutrition, tuberculosis, and poor hygiene to name a few”, she adds.
Due to these dire conditions, the African Union, the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, and UNHCR signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up an Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) center on 10 September 2019. The center is initiated to provide an urgent relocation of up to 30,000 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers from the conflict zones in Libya to safety in Gashora, located in Bugesera district, in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. Africa Humanitarian Action (AHA), one of the partners working with UNHCR, has been providing vital integrated healthcare services to save the lives of some of the most vulnerable refugees and asylum- seekers which include curative and preventive health care, hospital admissions, laboratory, referrals, nutrition services, mental health care, antenatal, immunization and postnatal care at the ETM center.
Amal was fortunate enough to be part of the group of refugees evacuated, who is currently benefiting from the services. She now receives regular treatment and is participating in communal activities besides taking care of her child and doing household chores. “All this feels like a dream to me, to see kind people welcoming me to a country full of hope. It is very different from what I had experienced in the past”, she notes.
AHA gives the refugees, including newborn babies, unaccompanied minors, and women, a chance to rebuild their lives and stray away from the unprecedented risks and abuses. Moreover, the psychosocial treatments provided further equip them with durable tools to cope and lead a stable livelihood. Amal added on this saying, “I am now happy and content here with my baby in my arms. I am even learning many things like language and art.”