BirthLink in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The Congolese war and its aftermath, in terms of fatalities, remains the deadliest since World War Two. According to one study, over five million people have perished since 1998 as a result.
Years of upheaval and sustained poverty have had a significant and negative impact on health services. The most vulnerable members of Congolese society, including women and children, have suffered disproportionately.
According to the World Health Organisation, the neonatal mortality rate in DRC was 38 deaths per 1000 births in 2013, one of the highest in the world. Although progress is being made, it now seems unlikely that the country will meet the Millennium Development Goal for infant mortality by the deadline this September.
Our Work in DRC
In 2013 BirthLink visited Panzi Hospital in Eastern DRC with Global Strategies, a US organisation with experience working in the region. Our organisations subsequently formed a partnership with the aim of improving neonatal care and reducing neonatal mortality.
BirthLink have been working at Panzi since March 2014. The hospital and its founder and director, twice Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr Denis Mukwege, have become world famous for treating the victims of sexual violence in the region since 1999.
So far at Panzi, BirthLink have provided training and education to improve the management of small and sick babies, ran a workshop to support breastfeeding and lactation, and implemented new and innovative respiratory therapies.
BirthLink works with Global Strategies and Panzi staff to collect and analyse data crucial to measuring outcomes and improving future practice.
The programme has been enthusiastically received by the doctors and nurses, who have made significant progress over the first year. We look forward to building upon this success in years to come. Your donations will go towards the purchase of medical equipment essential for basic care and training a breastfeeding specialist.