Democratic Republic of Congo

Activities  2015 International Activity Report

The Katanga region in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was hit by a huge measles epidemic in 2015, and tens of thousands of people were affected.

Such health emergencies occur with alarming regularity in DRC, a result of poor infrastructure and inadequate health services, which are unable to prevent or respond to outbreaks of disease. In Katanga, for example, there have been measles epidemics every few years, owing to the failure of routine vaccination programmes and the shortage of healthcare in remote parts of the region. MSF launched activities in April in Malemba Nkulu health zone, eventually deploying multiple teams and intervening in over half of the affected health zones. Teams carried out vaccinations and supported measles treatment for patients at over 100 health centres. By early December, they had vaccinated over 962,000 children against measles and supported the treatment of nearly 30,000 who had caught the disease.

At the beginning of the year, MSF mobile clinics responded to malnutrition and malaria among internally displaced people in camps in Nyunzu and Kabalo in Katanga, and vaccinated children under the age of five living in the camps and the surrounding areas against measles. MSF also continued its efforts to bring cholera under control in Kalemie and in Kituku, Undugu and Kitaki health zones, monitoring and treating diarrhoeal diseases, providing oral vaccinations, improving the water supply infrastructure and distributing filters. In addition, over 30,100 people were treated for malaria during May and June in Kikondja, and measles vaccinations were provided between July and November in Kikondja, Bukama and Kiambi. A South Kivu emergency response team also vaccinated 81,590 children against measles in Haut Lomami between September and November.

As the security situation in the Shamwana area stabilised, displaced people began returning home. MSF expanded its support from six to seven health centres and increased the number of specialised community health sites where patients with malaria, malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases are identified and treated. Teams continued to provide comprehensive healthcare at Shamwana hospital, carrying out 76,293 outpatient consultations and 1,680 individual mental health sessions.

Despite some improvements, the eastern provinces remained largely insecure, as the Congolese army and several different armed groups fought for control over resource-rich territory. There were attacks on civilians, which caused further waves of displacement, and many incidents of banditry and kidnapping. MSF remains one of few international organisations providing medical care in these areas.

Read more about MSF's activities in DRC in 2015.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1981.

2015 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 1,652,000
Patients treated for malaria 885,500
Patients admitted to hospital 156,500
Individual and group mental health consultations 30,500
Number of patients treated in feeding centres 22,300
Surgical interventions 17,000
Patients received first-line ARV 5,000
No. staff in 2015 2,867
2015 Expenditure €100.3 million

Figures from 2015 International Activity Report
and 2015 International Financial Report

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