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Violence Cripples Health Service delivery in Disputed Apaa

According to Bhoka, the district has been battling a measles outbreak since February this year. The most affected areas include Itirikwa Sub County, which hosts the disputed Apaa Township. The others are Ofua and Pakele sub counties and Adjumani town council.

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Violent conflicts in Apaa Township, which is at the center of a dispute between Adjumani and Amuru district, have crippled health service delivery in the area.  

George Bhoka, the Adjumani District Health Officer, says the Apaa community has rejected a mobile measles vaccination exercise. 

He says residents stopped district health teams from erecting tents for the mobile clinics, saying it is a ploy to grab or demarcate their land.  

According to Bhoka, the district has been battling a measles outbreak since February this year.  The most affected areas include Itirikwa Sub County, which hosts the disputed Apaa Township. 

The others are Ofua and Pakele sub counties and Adjumani town council.  He however, says no child has been vaccinated in Apaa in the on-going mobile vaccination drive because of resistance from the community.   

Similarly, Apollo Okello, the Amuru District Health Secretary, says they received over 15 cases of measles but their health teams can’t access the disputed area for fear of armed conflicts. 

He says health services grounded to a halt in the area since Apaa Health Centre II was conflict in September 2018 because of conflicts between residents and Uganda Wildlife Authority over land.

Michael Lakony, the Amuru District Chairperson describes the situation in Apaa as pathetic because the communities can neither access health nor education services.   

//Cue in: Apaa Health Centre…   

Cue out: …attacked by Measles //

  Sylvester Odoki, one of the leaders in Apaa, says residents trek over 40 Kilometers to Pabbo Health Centre III in Pabbo Sub County to access health services.  

He however, notes that children, women and elderly people can’t move such long distances and end abandoning health services. 

Patrick Olwedo, the Amuru District Health Officer-DHO, says they are vaccinating children against measles in Amuru but not Apaa Township.

Apaa Township borders Adjumani and Amuru district.  Both the Madi community in Adjumani and Acholi in Amuru claim ownership of the area. 

UWA also claims that the area is in East Madi Wildlife reserve. The conflict is characterised by destruction of homes, looting, killings and human rights abuses since 2012.

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