Why are we there?
- Endemic/Epidemic disease
- Health care exclusion
This is an excerpt from MSF-USA's 2013 Annual Report:
More than 36,000 refugees were repatriated from Congo to their home province of Équateur, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in April.
In 2009, MSF opened an emergency program to meet the medical needs of refugees and the host community in Bétou district, Likouala, by expanding and strengthening services in Bétou hospital and health centers in the area. Some 450 patients were admitted to the hospital per month, and between November 2012 and May 2013, 9,800 people were treated for malaria alone.
As many children were suffering from preventable diseases such as tetanus, polio, and measles, 13 teams carried out a district-wide, door-to-door vaccination campaign between December 2012 and May 2013, providing 97,500 vaccinations. With the improvement of the security situation in DRC and subsequent repatriation, MSF closed the Bétou project in June. The team had also worked with health authorities to improve national control programs against tuberculosis, HIV, leprosy, and yaws.
Yaws is a contagious but treatable bacterial infection that causes skin lesions and can lead to disfigurement and disability. In the rainforest of northern Congo and in Bétou district, where yaws is endemic, MSF carried out a second round of treatment in April and May, targeting Aka pygmies in remote areas who had not received treatment in the first round.
Cholera emergency response
The cholera emergency response that began in Pointe-Noire in November 2012 was completed in May. In addition to opening a cholera treatment center in Loandjili hospital and five rehydration centers, MSF trained medical staff and helped authorities implement preventive measures.
At the end of 2012, MSF had 220 staff in the Republic of Congo. MSF has been working in the country since 1997.