Tanzania is hosting around 300,000 refugees, mainly from neighbouring Burundi. Due to ongoing unrest there, people continue to pour across the border.
This additional pressure on the already full and overstretched camps leaves the humanitarian organisations working there struggling to provide adequate shelter, water and sanitation.
Housing new arrivals in overcrowded and unhygienic communal shelters exacerbated the spread of diseases, particularly malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.
To meet the increased demand for care, we provide services across the three camps – Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli, including restructuring existing facilities in Nyarugusu and Nduta to respond to the huge number of patients suffering from malaria.
By the end of 2018, Tanzania was hosting 326,942 refugees from both Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1 the majority in three camps: Nyarugusu, Nduta and Mtendeli.
In Nduta, we run a 151-bed hospital and four health posts, as well as health promotion activities via a network of community health workers. Outpatient services include mother and childcare, nutritional support, mental healthcare and treatment for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
In 2018, we also rehabilitated the operating theatre and the sterilisation room at nearby Kibondo district hospital and donated specialist equipment to enable lifesaving surgery for both refugees and the local community.
Malaria remained a major medical problem in Nduta camp, particularly during the rainy season. We have been running comprehensive malaria prevention and control activities since 2016, including biological larviciding and mass distribution of second-generation insecticide-treated mosquito nets.
These measures have proven effective, reducing the number of cases by more than half in our facilities in 2018. In March, the governments of Burundi and Tanzania and the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, confirmed their commitment to facilitating the voluntary repatriation of more than 70,000 Burundian refugees by the end of the year, adding yet another element of uncertainty for many.
Our teams in Nduta registered a significant increase in the mental health needs among refugees, the main diagnoses being depression and anxiety, but psychiatric disorders as well.
In addition to a sense of helplessness about what the future holds, many patients reported having experienced traumatic events and lost family members or friends.
No. staff in 2018: 311 | Expenditure in 2018: €7.7 million Year MSF first worked in the country: 1993 | msf.org/tanzania