DRC: MSF Continues to Treat Displaced People in North Kivu

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams continue to work in Goma and other parts of North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the most recent outbreaks of fighting. MSF remains very concerned about the many people still fleeing the ongoing violence. Many displaced and local residents are in urgent need of food, clean water, healthcare, and basic items such as blankets and shelter materials.

Teams are working at health centers in Kiwanja, in Rutshuru town, and at Rutshuru hospital. In the last two days, the surgical team has treated two wounded people at the hospital. Over the last three days, about 31 cholera patients have been treated at the cholera treatment center.

A mobile team planned to attempt to go to Nyanzale today, and a team intends to return to Kayna on Saturday. Both trips will depend on the security situation.

In Kibati, just north of Goma, 16 new cholera cases were reported over the last two days, in addition to the 48 cases treated between November 7 and 9. MSF is still trucking clean water to Kibati. Another six cholera cases were reported in the Buhimba cholera treatment center, just west of Goma, and a cholera treatment unit in Goma itself is reporting about 8 to 10 new cases a day.

Cholera consistently recurs in parts of North Kivu, and, as usual, MSF is treating cholera throughout the province. Recent fighting has contributed to a heightened risk of cholera. Risk factors include poor sanitation, lack of clean water, the constant movement of the population, and crowded conditions in displaced persons camps.

MSF has cleaned and stocked two operating theatres at Goma general hospital, and has begun performing surgery in one of them. MSF has stopped running mobile clinics into a displaced persons camp in Kibati, just outside Goma, because an assessment confirmed that other aid groups are successfully managing the needs there.

An MSF team also planned to evaluate the situation in Kibumba, north of Goma, today.

West of Goma, MSF has started working at the hospital in Kirotshe. And, in nearby Shasha camp, MSF has begun training its local staff to provide mental healthcare to people suffering psychological problems as a result of the conflict.

Northwest of Goma, in Kitchanga and Mweso, MSF is continuing to provide primary and secondary healthcare. A mobile clinic team is visiting Pinga today, west of Mweso.

In Masisi, about 50 miles northwest of Goma, an MSF team of six international staff and 80 Congolese colleagues are providing healthcare at a hospital and a health center. In Minova, west of Goma, an MSF team continues to support the local hospital and health centers, treating an average of 60 cholera patients each week.

MSF is continuing to explore the area as security conditions permit, identifying people with unmet health needs, following recent fighting and displacement. Some 52 international staff are working with MSF in North Kivu now, including doctors, nurses, logisticians, and administrators, among others.