October 13, 2009
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is currently working in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), providing more than 9,000 medical consultations a month in hospitals and health centers. MSF has also distributed relief items to some 16,000 people displaced by violence, and provided vaccinations and mental health support. In total, 27 international staff work alongside 140 Congolese colleagues in MSF projects in Haut-Uélé and Bas-Uélé.
National staff: 80
From June to September, MSF conducted 2,800 outpatient consultations in two health centers in Namboli and Lipay, in the Dungu area of the northeastern Haut-Uélé district. The majority of the patients coming for consultation were treated for malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections.
In Dungu hospital, supported by MSF, medical teams carried out 300 surgeries, provided care for 100 severe malnourished children and for another 220 children with a variety of conditions and diseases. Since August, MSF has also worked in the reproductive health and the maternity departments of the hospital, where sexually transmitted infections are another common pathology. MSF also provided mental health support for 88 patients who had suffered from violence, of whom a small number had been victims of sexual violence.
In August, MSF started a measles vaccination campaign targeting 20,000 children aged six months to 14 years old, with a vitamin A supplementation.
In Dungu, MSF monitors the movements of displaced people in order to ensure they can provide humanitarian assistance to them.
National staff: 6
Dingila area, in the northern Bas-Uélé district, has become a key destination for displaced people fleeing the areas of Banda and Dakwa. About 16,000 people have been displaced by violence and have sought refuge in the Dingila area.
In July, the MSF team distributed essential basic items, such as plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets and jerry cans to these people.
In early September, MSF began to support the local hospital, plus two health centers in Nzongolia and Bambili, with a particular focus on providing care to victims of violence.
Based in Dingila, a MSF team remains ready to fly to areas of the region, in order to respond to medical emergencies as a result of attacks.
National staff: 11
Doruma, a town of Haut-Uélé located on the border with Sudan, is at the heart of a very insecure area. The population of Doruma and the 12,000 displaced people who have fled there are at risk, as it is too dangerous for them to go to their fields and tend to their crops.
MSF supports the four health centers in Doruma, where 2,500 outpatient consultations have been carried out this year. MSF also supports the hospital in Doruma, where 94 patients were hospitalized in September.
In addition, the MSF team distributed plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets, and jerry cans to 2,560 families.
In October, MSF extended the scope of its activities in the hospital to begin providing mental health support, treatment for sleeping sickness, support to the surgical and maternity wards, and assisting with water and sanitation.
National staff: 29
Niangara, also in Haut-Uélé, is the main town at the crossroads leading to the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Around 11,000 displaced people have now arrived in the town, having fled from violence.
MSF is supporting the main referral hospital in Niangara, in addition to Wawé health center, located two miles outside from the town. Since the start of MSF activities five months ago, medical teams have carried out more than 11,300 consultations at the general hospital and 3,000 patient consultations in Wawé health center. Each month, around 32 new patients are hospitalized in Niangara. The main diseases MSF treats there are malaria, acute respiratory infections, sexually transmitted infections and stress-related diseases.
MSF teams put a mental health program in place to help the local population cope with the trauma and stress of the continuous violence and displacement. Between June and early October, 72 patients had received medical and psychological help for violence in that program.
In early October, MSF sent two teams out into communities to raise awareness among the population about the fact that the care provided is free and essential.
National staff: 16
Following numerous attacks in December 2008, MSF started to provide medical and mental health care in Faradje, Haut-Uélé.
MSF opened a project aimed at assisting the children who had been abducted by armed men and subsequently escaped or were released. In the first five months, 114 children were assisted by MSF, through the project.
MSF is also supporting a hospital, where approximately 11,000 patients have received consultations and 900 patients were hospitalized for secondary level care - maternity, pediatric, surgery or internal medicines. The main diseases treated are malaria, intestinal parasites and skin infections.
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)