AMREF – Responding to crisis: Lessons from Kenya’s silent emergency

Responding to crisis: Lessons from Kenya’s silent emergency

AMREF’s Deputy-Director General, Dr Florence Muli-Musiime has warned that emergency institutions, both local and international, risk misdirecting their humanitarian crisis response if they are not sensitive to community dynamics that are not always visible in times of upheaval. In a powerful message to hundreds of delegates at the 35th Global Health Council Conference taking place in Washington DC, Dr Muli-Musiime described a ‘silent emergency’ that nobody spoke about following the post-election violence in Kenya, whose implications for healing and recovery has more serious implications for post-conflict health and social development than the more widely publicised plight of internally displaced people in the country.

‘When the crisis broke out,’ she said, ‘the focus of the health system was to mitigate the physical injuries, while that of the donor community and emergency institutions was on the Internally Displaced People. But we realised that there was a silent emergency which none of the two groups was looking at – that of thousands of people who were caught up in their own homes, unable to go to IDP camps because they would have had to go through hostile territory to get there, and unable to access health or any other basic services. To make matters worse, they were physically assaulted and sexually abused in their own homes.’

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AMREF – Kenya in crisis appeal

Kenya in crisis appeal

AMREF has launched a global appeal to raise $1.5m to provide health care to victims of the post-election violence in Kenya that has left nearly 500 dead and over 300,000 people living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the country.

AMREF already works in the places affected by the recent events such as Kibera, Kisumu and Eldoret. In fact, as Africa’s leading health organisation and having worked in Kenya for 50 years, AMREF is uniquely placed to intervene in the humanitarian crisis and protect the health of those affected.

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