Nashville nurse practitioner helps South Sudanese refugees in Uganda

Posted at 2:37 PM, Dec 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 11:55:03-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As many of us enjoy the holidays, aid workers across the world are helping people affected by humanitarian crises. One of those people is Imma Bramlage, a nurse practitioner from Nashville, who is in Uganda helping refugees who left South Sudan to escape crime and violence.

Bramlage said, "At home we can go to a walk-in clinic as we need, we can see our doctor, but when you're fleeing from your home country, you may not always have access to healthcare."

Bramlage worked at Vanderbilt University Medical Center until she decided to go on mission as a project coordinator with Doctors Without Bordersand Médecins Sans Frontières.

Bramlage said, "We're running an inpatient department as well as sexual violence and mental health program."

Over a million refugees have left South Sudan to escape a war-torn country.

Bramlage said, "Many of them have experienced trauma along the way, family members being killed, and unfortunately sexual violence is a huge part of the problem as well."

Bramlage works in two refugee settlements, facilitating healthcare for roughly 300,000 people. She said the resilience in the refugees she helps has made a lasting impact on her life.

Bramlage said, "Still they're smiling, they're happy to greet you, and they continue to push on."

In Uganda, refugees are given a plot of land to start over.

Bramlage hopes through sharing her story, people will have a better understanding of the struggles the South Sudanese people face every day.

Bramlage said, "Being aware and knowing what's going on outside of our own walls, of our house, or our own city, is huge and the impact is invaluable."

Bramlage is currently on a 6 month mission with Doctors Without Borders/MSF. She's scheduled to come back to Nashville in about a month. For Christmas, she said international aid workers get together to cook a meal, and they share what they would be doing in their respective countries.

You can learn more about the refugee crisis here.

Photos at the top of this article courtesy Judith Kormann and Frederic Noy/Cosmos