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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Acholi internally displaced persons in Kampala, Uganda: Migration trends and living conditions

Elizabeth A. Rowley, MIA, MHS and Gilbert M. Burnham, MD, PhD. International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, E8636, Baltimore, MD 21205, 443-287-4842, erowley@jhsph.edu

War-related urban migration is common in many conflict-affected countries, but there has been very little documentation on the situation of urban IDPs. This presentation highlights results of research undertaken in 2005 on the migration patterns and living conditions of Acholi IDPs in Kampala, Uganda. Methods include key informant interviews, focus groups discussions, and a survey covering 300 households.

Key findings include: 33% of IDPs came to Kampala from 1988-1996, with subsequent major influxes occurring in 1997 and 2000. Most IDPs (70%) came to Kampala directly; those who went to another location first often left because of food shortage. The average household is 5-6 persons; 80% of dwellings are one room only. 71% of respondents work for cash; most common occupations are quarry workers and security guards. 75% of respondents eat one meal per day and 55% typically eat cereals and pulses only. Vegetables and/or fish supplement for 45% but 44% never eat meat. 79% report illness requiring health care since arrival with access from a mix of public and private providers. Respondents indicate language barriers and ethnic discrimination affect access to jobs, timely health care, and legal services.

Recommendations from this research include: Focus more needs assessment and service-oriented research efforts on urban IDPs. Offer assistance programs to urban IDP populations in Kampala focusing on strategies that improve overall living conditions as a way to increase health and nutritional well-being. Integrate efforts to address ethnic discrimination in service delivery.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this session, participants will be able to

Keywords: War, Urban Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Displaced Populations: Differing Causes, Common Needs

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA