Pre-election violence in Burundi has started a refugee exodus to the DRC. This may impact the clinics and hospitals we support. Specifically, Don Bosco Ngangi has housed up to 12000 refugees during similar crises. Project Congo is monitoring this situation and stocking medical supplies in anticipation it may worsen. Click here to read about current events in Burundi.
Joseph Kabila, president of Democratic Republic of Congo is serving his last term in office. He was the first democratically elected president in DRC history and has been in power for 16 years. Elections for a new president are scheduled for December 2016. However a draft law has been introduced that many consider a move to allow Kabila stay in power. Read here about the reaction to this news.
Dr. Alfred Mwenebatende announced the reopening of the Project Congo sponsored hospital that was destroyed in 2013 by M23 Rebels.
Centre Medico-Chirurgical Hospital is located in Goma, not far from the destroyed hospital. Dr Alfred was able to save some equipment before the rebels overtook that area of Goma and has re-installed it all in the new hospital.
Project Congo, in partnership with Worldwide Labs installed a new laboratory at St. Vincent’s which will allow for diagnostic testing resulting in higher quality medical care for patients in Bukavu, DRC. The lab includes microscopes, centrifuges, refrigerator, and a variety of test equipment all set up to run on car batteries. This provides the doctors at St. Vincent’s the ability to perform blood and urine analysis both for their own patients, and as a service to other health facilities in the area (providing an income stream).
Worldwide Labs is a nonprofit based in Michigan that purchases and accepts donations of used quality laboratory equipment. They completely refurbish the equipment and provide technicians to install it onsite and train doctors, nurses and lab techs. James Borody was the lab technician who installed the lab and provided training. Prior to joining WWLabs, James spent 11 years living in Niger. He speaks French fluently.
This year’s trip to the DRC had to be cancelled for security reasons.
With disgust I learned of the brutal attack on the Mugunga Refugee camp by M23 rebels. We visited the camp last summer.The camp houses 50,00 refugees. Many of whom fled massacres in their own villages. The M23s attacked with morta
r rounds and machine gun fire. They looted and raped through out the camp and took many children between the ages of 12-16 as child soldiers. The M23s are not men or freedom fighters, are are something worse than animals.
Read about the many Displaced people near Goma.
Click here to read the Complete Road Trip Journal!
Solar Electricity for St Luke’s Hospital
This summer a team of bio-medical engineering students from Wright State University, will travel to Bombo, Uganda to install solar electricity at St Luke’s Hospital The hospital currently has no electricity and the staff works with kerosene lamps and flashlights when it is dark.
The team will also repair broken bio-medical equipment.
The project cost is for on site purchase of materials and supplies is $5,000.