Democratic Republic of Congo

UPDATE: July 2017                                                                                                                                

Within less than a year, the Greater Kasai region in the centre of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was transformed from a peaceful area in a troubled country to one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world today. Unrest in this area the size of Italy began in August 2016, when the Congolese armed forces killed a local chief.  

Within ten months:

  • 52 mass graves have been discovered (There is no reliable number of the number of dead and wounded during this conflict)
  • 1.3 million people have fled their homes and 30,000 are refugees in nearby Angola (which places the DRC as the country with the largest number of refugees and displaced this year, ahead of Syria)
  • Up to 400,000 children may be at risk of acute malnutrition according to UNICEF. May and June are planting season, and failure to follow the planting calendar because people are not safe enough to work in fields can threaten October’s harvest, and therefore people’s main source of food and income
  • Two international UN experts have been killed in DRC, which is a first since the UN deployed the group of international experts for investigation of human rights violations in 1999.

The ongoing violence and instability have drastically reduced the availability of medical services and treatment, as well as access to medical facilities.

Kananga and its surroundings

Since April 2017, MSF has run its own facility in part of the Ministry of Health’s Kananga General Hospital. The team has rehabilitated the operating theatre and manages a surgery ward with a capacity for 49 inpatients.

Outside Kananga, insecurity and violence are worsening. Local health centres are deserted or lack medicines and staff.  An MSF team is operating mobile clinics to reach the population in the conflict-affected zones and provide medical assistance. Many displaced people lost access to their income sources due to the insecurity in the area and suffer from nutritional deficiencies.


MSF started working in Tshikapa in the second week of June 2017. A team is supporting three health centres and a general reference hospital in the urban zone of Tshikapa, and providing medical and humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups. In the first 13 days of operations, MSF initiated treatment for more than 191 malnourished children by means of two ambulatory and one inpatient therapeutic feeding centres. The teams have carried out 301 consultations of children of less than five years old, assisted 54 births and treated 18 people for conflict related injuries while received and treated the first cases of sexual violence.


Activities  International Activity Report 2016

Poor infrastructure and inadequate health services continue to restrict access to medical care in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The eastern provinces remain insecure, as the Congolese army and several armed groups fight for control of resource-rich territory.

An outbreak of yellow fever hit all the provinces bordering Angola in 2016. MSF supported the Ministry of Health in a massive emergency response and vaccinated more than a million people in Kinshasa and Matadi city, Kongo Central. In Haut-Uélé province, eastern DRC, MSF also collaborated with the Ministry of Health to treat more than 84,000 patients in an exceptional outbreak of malaria. The Pool d’Urgence Congo responded to 26 emergencies relating to cholera, measles, typhoid fever and displaced people, reaching 330,000 people across the country.

North Kivu

In Walikale, Mweso, Masisi and Rutshuru, MSF continued its comprehensive medical programmes supporting the main reference hospital and peripheral health centres to provide both basic and secondary care to people affected by recurrent violence who would otherwise have little access to medical services. Almost 35,000 children suffering from malnutrition and/or other diseases were admitted to MSF-supported hospitals; over 270,000 outpatient consultations were provided in the Mweso area alone, nearly half of which were for malaria; and more than 7,500 surgical interventions were performed in Rutshuru hospital.

Between March and June, MSF responded to a nutrition emergency in three health zones in Lubero, treating over 600 severely malnourished children.

MSF continued to support five health facilities in Goma, offering screening and treatment for HIV/AIDS. In 2016, the team provided care for over 2,600 patients living with HIV/AIDS. MSF also responded to a cholera outbreak, treating more than 700 patients.

South Kivu

MSF supports two hospitals, several peripheral health centres and different community points for decentralised identification and management of malaria and malnutrition in Lulingu and Kalehe, with a particular focus on malaria and malnutrition, for children and pregnant women. Over 284,000 outpatient consultations were carried out, 10,800 people were admitted to the hospitals, more than 10,700 malnourished children were treated and more than 10,000 deliveries assisted. MSF also continued to support Shabunda and Matili hospitals.

MSF has seen a huge increase in malaria cases in recent years and the hospital it supports in Baraka is struggling to cope. A 100-bed facility built by MSF was in full use again, and more community-based sites were set up to treat 200,000 children for malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. Staff carried out over 450,000 outpatient consultations and admitted more than 17,000 patients to the hospital.

MSF teams continue to support health centres in Lulimba, Misisi and Lubondja. This year they opened further community-based sites and carried out nearly 200,000 outpatient consultations, including 131,322 for patients with malaria. Staff also treated 396 patients for tuberculosis (TB) and 384 patients for HIV.

Read more about MSF's activities in DRC in 2016.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1981.


2016 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 1,960,100
Patients treated for malaria 1,002,400
Patients admitted to hospital 137,200
Individual and group mental health consultations 33,300
patients treated in feeding centres 48,600
Patients received first-line ARV 5,700
No. staff in 2016 3,509
 Expenditure 2016 €109.8 million



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