The devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been cited among factors causing a surge in cases of suicide in refugee camps in the country.
Patrick Sambaga, the director of Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Uganda says the Covid situation has exposed refugees to several negative coping behaviors including crime, drug and substance abuse among others
“So far according to data from UNHCR suicide dashboard, we have registered 238 cases of Suicide in 2020 compared to only 131 cases in 2019” Says Sambaga
Mr. Sambaga added that they expect the number of refugees committing suicide to increase to about 300 by the end of 2020.
Mr. Sambaga made this revelation at the 16 annual Counselors Conference in Kampala
He identified some of the Refugee settlements with the highest number of Suicide rate as Kyangwali and Bidi-Bidi.
Mr. Aime Moninga, the President of Men of Hope association, a group of survivors of Male rape during War said they have already lost two of their members during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Mary Kampogo, the Program Manager of mental health at Refugee law project said they have been extending counseling and psychosocial support to refugees through Tele-couseling where over 1,000 refugees have been reached.
According to UNHCR Response plan, Uganda is hosting about 1.3 million refugees from South Sudan, DRC, Burundi and other Countries.