President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset visits camp for internally displaced people in Bushagara, D.R. Congo
Medair was honoured to receive a visit from the President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset as part of his visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 12 to 16 April 2023.
During his humanitarian tour of the conflict-affected eastern DRC, the Swiss president visited the camp for internally displaced people in Bushagara, located north of the city of Goma and home to more than 17,000 people. There, Medair manages a healthcare site that provides communities with access to free primary health care.
In recent months, the camp was affected by cholera and measles outbreaks. With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Medair was able to establish cholera and measles treatment units in the camp. Since the beginning of the year, more than 120 patients were treated for cholera, more than half of whom were children under the age of five. In addition, 67 new cases of measles were registered, 49 of them in children under five.
“In the camp for displaced persons in Bushagara, there was a tremendous need for primary health care. As soon as the camp was established, we started an intervention providing free access to primary health care. When a cholera outbreak occurred, we were able to deploy Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) points in the community to respond to the health emergency; these points receive and treat mildly dehydrated cholera patients in the camps, while triaging and identifying critical cases with severe dehydration requiring hospitalisation. For the latter, Medair has set up a Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU) where severe cholera cases are treated free of charge with adequate intravenous hydration and constant clinical monitoring. Patients undergoing treatment in the CTU and in the measles isolation section receive a food ration provided by the project,” explained Medair’s Health Project Manager Dr André Kabudi to the visiting delegation. The delegation of the Swiss President was accompanied by Mr Patrick Muyaya Katembwe (Spokesperson of the Congolese Government and Minister of Communication and Media), Mr Fabrice Puela (Ministry of Human Rights), General Constant Ndima (Military Governor of the Province of North Kivu), and Mrs Patricia Danzi (Director General of the SDC).
Switzerland’s ambassador to the DRC, Mr Jacques Gremand, was also part of the delegation and expressed words of encouragement to the Medair team.
For 25 years, Medair has served conflict-affected communities in eastern DRC. In 2022, more than 730,645 people received direct assistance from Medair.
Medair remains committed to responding to the humanitarian emergency and to alleviating the suffering of the affected population to the best of its ability.
Media enquiries should be directed to:
Jean-Bernard Palthey, Engagement Director (English, French)
Medair is an international humanitarian NGO that provides emergency relief and recovery services to families made vulnerable by natural disasters, conflicts, and other crises.
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This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.