A day spent at Masisi hospital is not for the faint-hearted. You will see pretty much everything you could imagine. A baby born two months premature that is no bigger than your hand. An 8 year old who is so malnourished she looks like an old, wise woman, but can still smile and reply "mzuri" when asked "habari". An 8 year old boy whose leg had to be amputed after he fell in a fire. He went to the health centre to get treatment but they didn't have any drugs or bandages, so his family took him to a spiritual healer who was paid to pray for him. But the prayers didn't heal the injuries and by the time he got to the hospital – seven days after the accident – the burns were so infected that his toes were falling off and his leg was infested with maggots.
A woman whose uterus ruptured after an obstructed labour. A 12 year old girl who was shot in the back during an attack on her village. A 50 year old man who was injured in the same attack. He was shot in the chest when he couldn't give his attackers the $100 they demanded. A woman being wheeled into surgery for a caesarean after being in labour for 24 hours and only being 7cm dilated.
It strikes me that some of these things have been caused by the war that is going on here, but many have not. Unfortunately the poverty and suffering that goes on in DRC existed long before this latest round of violence and will most likely continue long after it ends.