Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeMalawiHealthEastern DR Congo: Health system at breaking point warns WHO

Eastern DR Congo: Health system at breaking point warns WHO

Increased violence, natural disasters and disease outbreaks have fueled a deteriorating health situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a senior official with the World Health Organization warned on Friday.

Speaking from Kinshasa, Dr. Jorge Castilla, WHO’s Senior Emergency Officer, told journalists at the regular briefing in Geneva there had been a major increase in displacement due to ongoing violence fuelled by armed groups, leaving around 7.4 million in need of health assistance.

Disease and displacement

Since March 2022, almost three million people have been forced from their homes in the eastern part of the country, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces.

Dr. Castilla said many on the move had been repeatedly attacked. In the Goma area, “when they move, also diseases move with them. Cholera has spread through the area, and it is now prevalent with 25,000 cases. The area where they arrived has the highest number.”

The country’s health system is under huge pressure due to overlapping outbreaks of COVID-19, measles, polio, mpox. Yellow fever, cholera and malaria are on the rise due to recurrent natural disasters and lack of access to safe water and sanitation for those on the move, said WHO.

Cholera persists

Agency data shows that since mid-March, the DRC has been experiencing an average of 1,000 cholera cases per week. As of 12 June, a total of 24,562 cases and 156 deaths have been reported.

measles vaccination campaign is planned for the coming days said WHO. The two provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu alone account for 82 per cent of the more than 136,000 measles cases recorded this year so far, which include 2,000 deaths. 

In addition to the rampant insecurity, flooding earlier this year killed and injured hundreds of people and affected 36 health facilities in North Kivu, South Kivu, Kasai and Tshopo provinces, further increasing health needs.

Attacks by armed groups on health facilities have also impacted the ability to provide healthcare. 

Health system ‘really under stress’

Thanks to the landslides triggered by the flooding, facilities were destroyed along with the loss of life and injuries, “so the entire health system is really under stress”, said Dr. Castilla. 

Hunger and malnutrition are growing, said the WHO expert, forcing some of the displaced to return to areas of origin sporadically just to survive and exposing them to further violence, mental health shocks and psychosocial strain.

“There is this increase in malnutrition and this increasing gap between the needs and the assistance,” noted Dr. Castilla. “The whole UN humanitarian system decided on the 16th of this month to do a three-month scale-up for everybody in order to improve the actions of the different partners there.”

Highest in the world

Close to 26 million people are facing acute food insecurity this year, he added, the highest number of food insecure anywhere in the world.

Acute malnutrition is severely affecting children under the age of five, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Of the $174 million required to provide urgent health assistance, only $23 million (13 per cent) has been mobilized so far, WHO said.

Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporterhttps://www.maravipost.com/
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.
RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments

Sylvester Movette zunda on Mali wedding attack kills 21
James Hastings Chidule on Malawi’ fistula recovery at 86%
WELLINGTON WITMAN MOSELIJAH LUNDUKA on The history of Ngoni Maseko in Malawi
Lisa Frank on Home
azw3 on Home
Define Regtech on Home
Tobias Kunkumbira on Malawi to roll out Typhoid vaccine
arena plus nba standings 2022 to 2023 ph on Home
David on Home
마산출장 on Home
Cristina Thomas on Home
Alicia Alvarado on Home
The History of online Casinos – Agora Poker – hao029 on The History of online Casinos
Five factors that will determine #NigeriaDecides2023 - NEWSCABAL on Leadership Is Difficult Because Governance Is Very Stubborn, By Owei Lakemfa
Asal Usul Texas Holdem Poker – Agora Poker – hao029 on The Origins of Texas Holdem Poker
Malawi has asked Mike Tyson to be its cannabis ambassador - Techio on Malawi lawmaker Chomanika against Mike Tyson’s appointment as Cannabis Brand Ambassador over sex offence
Finley Mbella on Brand Chakwera leaks Part 1
Maria Eduarda Bernardo on The 2021 Guide to Trading Forex Online
Atsogo Kemso, Political Foot Soldier on Why MCP and UTM Alliance Will Fail
Em. Prof. Willem Van Cotthem - Ghent University, Belgium on Malawi army, National bank cover Chilumba barrack with trees
Christopher Murdock on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Samantha The Hammer on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Patricia as well on