DRC: Critical humanitarian situation in east of country
An already fragile humanitarian situation in eastern
Teams from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have rapidly set up additional emergency response activities, treating victims of violence and providing assistance to newly displaced people in and around Goma.
Treating victims of violence
Since the end of last week, an MSF surgeon and anesthetist have stepped into Virunga hospital in Goma where 60 patients have been admitted with war injuries. They are performing around 10 surgical interventions per day. Eleven people have been discharged already.
“Health structures in Goma were not prepared to receive such a high number of wounded,” said MSF surgeon Jacky Bonnan. “Before MSF came to Virunga hospital, the hospital’s surgical team worked around the clock for 48 hours to stabilise patients despite a lack of resources. They did an amazing job.”
Although Goma is calm for the moment, elsewhere in the province fighting continues. Medical teams in Masisi general hospital treated 21 people shot on Sunday during fierce fighting in and around the town. Seven of those required emergency surgery. In Mweso hospital, doctors treated 27 war wounded after fighting between the Congolese army and various armed militias.
Teams have been able to cross frontlines to donate medical supplies to the hospital in Minova as well as to 950 families scattered along the road. The hospital registered 26 cases of sexual violence and 200 wounded in the last seven days.
Increase in displaced persons
Displacement has been a feature of the conflict in eastern
“The most vulnerable are in an increasingly precarious situation,” said Grace Tang, MSF head of mission in
Despite the recent developments, MSF continues to run several large reference hospitals and dozens of health centres that provide free healthcare to thousands every month throughout the region in Rutshuru, Masisi, Mweso,Kitchanga, Walikale, Mugunga displaced camps, Kanyaruchinya and Pinga.