blog posts from GYC's participants, alumni, & staff
By Moise Dushime (D.R.C.)
Chronic malnutrition is the lack of a balanced diet that can help a human being to survive.
Chronic malnutrition is one of the problems that affects the refugees in Kiziba Camp, Karongi District Rwanda, especially children and pregnant women.
I am a member of the camp and I live this daily. I follow it daily.
This problem is a very big human rights issue and is due to the fact that refugees in Kiziba camp only receive a provision of 12kg of maize and 3kg of beans per person per month. It has been this way for two or three years now.
I’m angry about the situation. I am not hopeless however. There are some avenues for advocacy, some ways to change the situation.
When I visited the ministry of health in the Turikumwe workshop organized by GYC and INALAS, I tried to ask about this question to the Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, and she responded that this is a political issue and the Ministry of Health cannot change anything because the refugee camps are an extraterritorial issue, and this must be resolved by UNHCR and their partners, including the Rwandan Ministry of Refugee Affairs and Disaster Management (MIDIMAR). The Minister of Health told us to email MIDIMAR and cc: His Excellency the President of Rwanda. After returning to the camp, I plan to do this after meeting with the youth in the camp again.
Finally, I give thanks to the NGO in charge of food for the UN (World Food Program), but as a recommendation, the WFP has to change this kind of food because it is bringing the problem of malnutrition and other diseases that can lead to death. I also recommend to AHA (which is the NGO in charge of health) to increase the number of kitchen gardens and to encourage and protect the rabbit breeding project. I ask also the refugees to keep and protect well this rabbit breeding project because it is in their own interest.
In addition, I think that Family Planning is actually one of the things that could help the malnutrition because it will decrease the number of people in the camp, and it is the children who are suffering most from malnutrition. I want to address the common misconception that people in a camp like Kiziba will have children just to get access to more food. It is not true. Nevertheless, family planning can help as well.