Life can be frightening and stressful for pregnant women, new mothers, and families with young children in a large refugee camp such as Nyarugusu, in Tanzania. But vulnerable women, children and families in this camp can rely on the dedicated volunteers and staff of the Tanzania Red Cross Society, which runs a hospital, health clinics, ante- and post-natal support and paediatric services for the camp’s residents and people living in neighbouring host communities.
Tanzania Red Cross workers also provide emergency medical treatment, health care, shelter, water and sanitation support, and distribute relief items such as blankets and buckets to people in need.
The camp was initially set up to host Congolese refugees in 1997, but has expanded significantly in recent years following the arrival of large numbers of people from Burundi. It is now the third-largest refugee camp in the world, with some 150,000 residents.
Access to health care is improving, thanks to the Tanzania Red Cross with IFRC and other partners, but refugees and host communities alike are still struggling with inadequate support services and infrastructure for the growing population.