As a hands-on doctor, it is hard for me to step back watch the national staff take over, but after five months in the department, working on emergency preparation and training, it was a pleasure to watch the team spring into action: taking the woman’s temperature, blood pressure, malaria test, glucose, and doing a quick but thorough exam...
I palpated the woman’s abdomen, confirming that the baby felt a normal size and position. I pulled on a sterile glove and reached in to check the opening of the cervix. The head was high, the cervix not fully open, and I felt something abnormal, my fingers stroking a slippery little circular tube, beating against my finger tips. “Cas Rouge!” I called out. “Procedont du cordon! Red Case! Cord Prolapse!”
When our ‘PC” or Project Coordinator asked if I would come with him on an outreach trip to our distant communities of Mpati and Bibwe, I was thrilled. I could use a change of scenery in Mpati and Bibwe, small towns nestled in the North-East corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Due to the road conditions, we hadn’t been able to make a trip for many months...
Paul is a doctor from Ireland, currently working on a project in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here, he shares his thoughts as he begins his first ever assignment with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Ida is a Swedish doctor on assignment with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the South Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In the final blog from her assignment, she shares the story of how her team worked to save two critically ill children, Mulume and Bahati.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) lacks basic healthcare infrastructure, and people have suffered numerous preventable outbreaks of cholera, malaria and measles in recent years as a result. Conflicts in the eastern provinces have also been ongoing, leading to the displacement of thousands of people.
Decades of conflict, lack of investment in the healthcare system and ongoing violence cause extreme hardship. Humanitarian aid is concentrated around big cities and places that are considered secure, but there is a need for a rapid, flexible humanitarian response to acute needs throughout the east of the country.Our teams have been present in DRC since 1997, and are working to increase the availability of healthcare and respond to health emergencies.
We support IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in North and South Kivu, as well as hospitals in Katanga, Orientale, and Kinshasa. MSF's projects in the regions cover a wide range of issues from primary healthcare and malnutrition, to HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. At the end of 2013 MSF had 3,604 staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo.