Violence Cripples Health Services in Adjumani and Amuru Districts.

Violent land conflict in disputed Apaa Township in Itirikwa Sub County Adjumani is crippling health services in the area.
The District Health Officer for Adjumani, George Bhoka said the community in the area have rejected a mobile vaccination exercise against measles that is being conducted in the district.
Bhoka explains that the residents stopped the district health teams from erecting tents for mobile clinics in the disputed area citing that the move intends to grab or demarcate land.
He says measles has broken out in the district since the month of February this year. The affected areas include Itirikwa, Ofua and Pakele sub counties and Adjumani town council.
The DHO said in a phone interview that no child was vaccinated in Apaa in the on-going mobile vaccination drive due to resistance from the community.
In Amuru also, Apollo Okello the district secretary for health said they received over 15 cases of measles but the district health team equally cannot access the area for fear of armed conflicts.
According to Okello, health services in the area is at standstill as Apaa Health Centre II have equally been closed since September 2018 as conflicts with Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA personnel’s escalates over the alleged protected area.
Amuru district chairperson, Michael Lakony described the situation in Apaa as pathetic because the community could neither access better health services nor education.
Sylvestre Odoki, a local leader in the area says people trek over 40 kilometers to nearest Pabbo Health Centre III in Pabbo Sub County to access health services.
He however explains that children, women and the elderly cannot move such long distances hence ends up abandoning health services.
Patrick Olwedo the District Health Officer-DHO also said they are vaccinating children against measles in Amuru but not Apaa Township which he says is in Adjumani district.
Apaa Township borders Adjumani and Amuru districts, the Madi community Adjumani and Acholi of Amuru claims ancestral ownerships of the area.
UWA also claims that the area is in East Madi Wildlife reserve. The conflicts has manifested through burning of houses, looting, killings and human rights abuses since 2012.
By Emmy Daniel Ojara .Adjumani.

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