Democratic Republic of Congo

Providing care for displaced people and responding to disease outbreaks

An MSF doctor tends to a young patient at a cholera treatment center in Kihumba, on Idjwi island in Lake Kivu, DRC.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO 2017 © Marta Soszynska/MSF
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The second-largest country in Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been hobbled by a history of conflict, which continues in its eastern provinces. With more than 1.9 million outpatient consultations carried out in 2016—almost one-fifth of all Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) outpatient consultations—DRC is our largest intervention in world.

1,960,100
outpatient consultations in 2016
1,002,400
patients treated for malaria
48,600
patients treated for malnutrition

MSF teams support local health care providers, respond to disease outbreaks, and provide access to medical services in places where they are most needed.

Poor infrastructure and inadequate health services continue to restrict access to health care for DRC’s nearly 77 million inhabitants. The continuing conflict in the country’s eastern provinces, where the Congolese army and several armed groups fight for control of resource-rich territory, has also created urgent needs for emergency and routine medical services. At the end of 2016, 2.9 million people were displaced from their homes, having sought refuge in other countries or elsewhere in the DRC.

MSF team members travel by motorbike during a 2016 measles vaccination campaign.
Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
MSF team members travel by motorbike during a 2016 measles vaccination campaign.

Insecurity and conflict have taken a toll on the people of DRC, from sexual violence and injuries related to conflict to malnutrition and lack of access to even routine health care. Our teams are at work trying to reduce that toll and provide emergency, routine, and preventive health care.

Crisis in Ituri

More than 100,000 people have been forced from their homes in DRC's Ituri province as a result of violence in the area of Djugu. The resurgence of violence in Ituri began in December 2017 and intensified in February. Many of those affected have fled to other parts of DRC, north towards Mahagi or south towards Bunia, while tens of thousands of others have crossed Lake Albert seeking safety in Uganda. MSF teams are working in both DRC and Uganda to help people displaced by the attacks.

Three MSF staff members, Philippe, Richard, and Romy, who were abducted in 2013 in Kamango, eastern DRC, remain missing. A fourth staff member, Chantal, escaped in 2014. We remain committed and mobilized to secure their release.

MSF first worked in DRC in 1981.