Burundi: No money for contraceptives or safe births in new refugee camps

| October 10, 2015

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Thousands of Burundian refugees risk unwanted pregnancies, dangerous deliveries, and unsafe abortions, the International Rescue Committee, or IRC, said last week.

Over the next three months, authorities will move 50,000 people out of Tanzania’s Nyarugusu refugee camp, the third largest in the world, to ease overcrowding.

The refugees will move to two new camps about 100 kilometres north of the current camp. But Nduta and Mtembeli camps are 30 kilometres from the nearest hospital and have no funding for reproductive health services.

James Ndirangu is the IRC health coordinator in Tanzania. He is concerned that the gravity of this situation is not being recognized. Mr. Ndirangu says: “You need to have safe deliveries. It’s not possible to keep shuttling refugees who are either in labour or who are having complications such as haemorrhage that far [to medical services].”

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Photo credit: Martina Bacigalupo/VU