Child Mortality Rate
0Deaths in 1,000 Live Births
MFH in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Eastern region of the DRC has some of the worst maternal and child health outcomes in the world, and its health facilities lack basic equipment and supplies, trained staff and the resources needed improve the situation. Support to build provider capacity and expand community outreach programs will be an instrumental catalyst for change in the community; not only by helping to drive health know-how and response in the community, but also by enhancing provider skills and abilities to serve this population.
Medicines for Humanity (MFH) will work in partnership with the Sisters of the Prioress of the Resurrection to save the lives of Congolese children and their mothers in the community of Ciherano by increasing the capacity of the community health center and its providers.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing a life-threatening humanitarian crisis caused by ongoing violent conflicts, population displacement, poverty, malnutrition, and an under-resourced health care system further weakened by an Ebola outbreak and ongoing measles and cholera epidemics. Already struggling to confront enormous public health threats with health facilities that lack a basic water supply or sanitation, equipment, trained staff and funds, the DRC is now considered one of the most at-risk countries in Africa for the COVID-19 pandemic.
n 2020, MFH established a strategic partnership with the Sisters of the Prioress of the Resurrection to support MCH activities in Eastern DRC. The congregation manages a system of care through three health facilities in Mubumbano, Ciherano and Tuungane, providing essential healthcare services for the local population including nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as delivery services for mothers. Last year over 126,000 people received critically needed health services from these three sites. Despite the efforts of the Sisters, however, significant gaps still exist in the accessibility and quality of services. The health center in the community of Ciherano lacks basic equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of patients and has no labor and delivery equipment to assist pregnant mothers. Also, the Sisters have identified the need for a community outreach education program, so they recruited community health workers (CHWs) to provide education, counseling and household visits in the communities; but sadly, they lack the funding to train and mentor these critical influencers so they can carry out their jobs effectively. CHWs are a vital link between the communities and the clinics for a continuum of care. They provide health education and assessments, deliver health services, and refer sick children and mothers to the health center for treatment. In addition, they are highly influential to their peers and can be great catalysts for behavior change, especially in in vulnerable communities. To create successful impact, however, CHWs must receive adequate training, mentorship and ongoing support.
The goal of this project is to improve MCH outcomes for vulnerable women and children in Ciherano by increasing access and utilization of quality antenatal and postnatal care. In the long term, we will also see a reduction in the number of children suffering from preventable diseases such as cholera, measles, diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria. Progress toward the project goal will be monitored by the MFH project team monthly through clinical and program records. The indicators for evaluation include the number of children and women referred to and treated at the health center, the services and medicines received, and outcome of their health status. Each quarter, there will be a project leadership meeting to assess progress and to raise and respond to any issues within the project. Additionally, program reports will be analyzed jointly by MFH and the Sisters of the Prioress of the Resurrection staff to measure progress and evaluate the ongoing program.