Aid returns to strife-ridden Shabunda, eastern DRC

DRC - A new basic MSF healthcare programme was launched in Shabunda, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), last week. For years the region has been chaos with numerous armed groups fighting each other, plundering and terrorising villages along the eastern regions of the DRC. The ongoing violence has greatly restricted the movements of MSF missions in the region. As a result, Shabunda has been deprived of international aid, and even visits, over the last 18 months. In August of this year, MSF managed to carry out two exploratory missions in Shabunda and the surrounding areas. During the exploratory mission , MSF staff started collecting testimonies from the inhabitants of Shabunda and the surrounding areas and gathered some deeply shocking reports. Almost all the interviewees turned out to be victims of violence or have witnessed atrocities perpetrated by the warring factions. MSF staff members are still collecting testimonies. The exploratory missions also provided some preliminary short-term aid to deal with a measles outbreak. The new MSF activity in the region is a basic health care project with ongoing support - including drugs, training and supervision - to health centres around Shabunda town. The current MSF team consists of a medical doctor, nurse and loistician. The testimonies are info collected during the explo phase and continue to be collected now the team is on the ground. At the moment an expat team of three working there, MD, nurse and Log