26 April 2018
MSc Disaster Healthcare students working with volunteers at the Ugandan Red Cross
The University of South Wales (USW) is working with the Ugandan Red Cross to develop how they plan to reduce the risk of disasters in Uganda.
The Memorandum of Understanding will see the partners working together to improve the areas of disaster risk reduction, strengthening disaster response and looking at how the Ugandan Red Cross Society designs, monitors and evaluates their projects.
In 2017 alone, the Ugandan Red Cross supported the South Sudan refugee operations in West Nile, northern Uganda, responded to several disasters including floods and landslides as well as disease outbreaks such as Cholera.
The MOU was signed by the Secretary General of the Ugandan Red Cross Society, Robert Kwesiga, as 15 students from the MSc Disaster Healthcare course at USW visited Uganda. They delivered training to volunteers at local branches of the Red Cross in Mbale, Sironko and Jinga looking at designing projects for disaster risk reduction and community well-being.
The partnership between the two organisations began last year, when the award leader for the MSc Disaster Healthcare at USW, Jeff Evans, went to work with the Ugandan Red Cross for three months as part of the Welsh Government’s Academi Wales International Learning Opportunities programme.
He said: “Last year, I began working with the Red Cross to look at disaster risk reduction, so for example their infrastructure for water and sanitation and how to make sustainable use of the environment. Since then our relationship has strengthened further and students from our MSc Disaster Healthcare course have just returned from Uganda after spending some time delivering training to Red Cross volunteers.
“Uganda has a lot of challenges in terms of the disasters that it faces, from disease outbreaks to natural disasters, and through this partnership we want to be able to help the Red Cross with their capacity building so that they can be equipped to plan for challenges that they may face in the future. This could be projects around improving water sanitation, using planting to reduce the risk of landslides, planning for reproductive health or the quality of housing.
“It also enables our students to get first-hand experience of working out in the field, in an international context, putting theory into practice.”
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