Even though we are fighting a wave of Covid infections in Congo, and the peak of the third wave is still ahead of us, we do not stop saving patients who, if they do not get help here, will not get it anywhere within a radius of many tens of kilometres.
Monika is one of these patients. Like many of them, she comes from the far north of the country. She was driven from her homeland by the brutality of the rebels. Ethnic tensions have been escalating in the region since last year, leading to increasingly frequent attacks on the civilian population by armed militias. Of the 2.2 million new displacements registered nationwide over the past year, the majority have taken place in North Kivu and Ituri.
Monica was suffering from cancer. She was receiving treatment in neighbouring Rwanda. Her prognosis was improving when international restrictions stopped all movement over the Rwandan-Congolese border. Monika turned to us for help, but at that time we weren’t thinking about oncology at all. But need creates solutions, and so it was in this case. It was for her that last year we partnered with the only oncologist in all of North Kivu and outfitted a new ward. This enables us today to respond to the needs of the increasing number of cancer patients who approach us.
Monika has finished her treatment. Today she came to us for a check-up. The test results are a reason for great joy: Monika is healthy! Today, out of gratitude, she brought food to the hospital. She does not have much herself, but she really wanted to express her appreciation with more than just words. Her visit has greatly boosted the patients who are undergoing treatment.
There are currently over 5.2 million internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nearly half of them are in North Kivu, where we have been funding a hospital and nutrition centre for 7 years. It is the second country in the world, after Syria, with such a large problem of internal migration caused by armed conflict or violence. Nearly one million Congolese refugees live in neighbouring countries. Many of them reach Europe, and form the third largest ethnic group in refugee camps in Greece, behind citizens of Afghanistan and Syria. The hospital in Ntamugenga is a beacon of hope for the people of eastern Congo in a depressing reality full of adversity, enemies and disasters.
Monica’s smile shows that your commitment makes a difference. Please help us continue saving lives by visiting GoodWorks 24/7 and buying at least one symbolic IV!
Thank you for joining us in this project.