DRC: MSF continues medical work in Pinga despite insecurity

MSFMSF team in a village in Pinga health centre.

Goma, 9 May 2013 - Ten days after fighting took a heavy toll on North Kivu province town of Pinga, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the situation remains tense and unpredictable. Some population continue to flee the place as rumours of potential fighting continues to be spread among the population. Only half of the population remained in town.

Last week’s fighting forced thousands of people to flee into the forests. Eleven Congolese Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff had been missing since the violence began on 28 April, but as of yesterday, all are accounted for. “Two staff walked for about 160 kilometres in the past couple of days and reached Goma few days ago,” said Hugues Robert, MSF’s head of mission. Provision of medical services remains challenging and difficult, as many health workers fled or are exhausted and overstretched. 

MSF is the only medical aid group supporting the DRC’s Ministry of Health in Pinga and surrounding areas. Located in the Walikale territory, the organisation supports the main hospital in town, reaching out to a population of more than 60,000 people. Prior to the fighting, MSF provided basic healthcare in three health centres (Kasseke, Mpety and Nkassa), and also through mobile clinics. Unfortunately, medical activities in Mpety and Kasseke have been suspended since the security situation remains fragile and uncertain.