Removing barriers to health care

Earlier this year, I met a widow—Susa Mabruki—who brought her two-year-old son Gerisha, suffering from malaria, to a health centre supported by Medair. Susa explained that her husband had died of the same illness two years ago, because they didn’t have eight US dollars to pay for the treatment. This time, Gerisha received free treatment for his malaria, thanks to continued support from USAID for a project that delivers emergency aid at 20 health centres in Eastern DR Congo.

In DR Congo, the national health system requires its patients to pay for services at the time they receive care. Unfortunately, this creates a financial barrier that prevents the most vulnerable people from seeking care, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Medair supports several health centres which provide free or highly subsidised treatment to families living in areas of high vulnerability. The majority of patients are treated for common, preventable, and curable illnesses such as malaria, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory infections. Pregnant women receive antenatal care and are able to give birth in a clean environment under the care of a skilled attendant.

Butuhe Health Centre is located in Beni Territory, Nord Kivu. Surrounded by vivid green tea fields that blanket rolling hills, 11 staff members work to serve the health needs of over 12,000 people in the surrounding community. “Before, it was really difficult for patients to pay the fees for treatment, so care-seeking was low,” said Kambale Kankike Esdras, Head Nurse in Butuhe. “Thanks to Medair, this has improved.”

Your gifts make this kind of life-saving care possible. Please support Medair DR Congo in working hand-in-hand with dedicated staff like Kambale to deliver quality health care to marginalised and vulnerable people.

Keep up with our work in health and other sectors by following us @Medair_DRC on Twitter & Instagram.

Medair’s work in DR Congo is made possible by Agence de l’eau Rhone Méditerranée Corse, EC Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Medicor Foundation, GVC Winterthur (CH), Canton of Zurich, Pfister, Red een Kind (NL), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, United Nations Childrens Fund, US Agency for International Development and generous private donors.

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.