About the Gulu Health Project
Primary health care (PHC) often assumes a stable population. However, in conflict and post-conflict conditions, mobility poses an even more pronounced issue for PHC. In northern Uganda the population was exposed to forced urbanization into IDP camps. When peace recently returned to the region, resettlement resulted in movement out of camps to rural areas with poor services. The population faces problems of establishing a home, security, planning for the future and changing life conditions. There are difficulties in reaching some segments of the population and the services for IDPs during the conflict provided by WFP and relief organizations have been stopped including research institutions including the Joint Clinical Research Centre.
Under Gulu University a demographic health surveillance system (DSS) has been developed since 2008 in Awach county, Gulu, as part of the Gulu-ENRECA research capacity building project. Preliminary findings suggest significant issues regarding nutrition, security, gender, generation and land disputes, high levels of human insecurity and post-traumatic stress. The combination of different exposures to war trauma, camp life, WFP food and now reversed migration from urban areas to rural areas offers a unique epidemiologic situation for evaluating the short and long term effects of more or less controlled displacement. The results will provide evidence for more effective service provision, and provide new knowledge on mobility, security and health.