email this page    print    RSS

Field news

Support our work by making a tax-deductible donation to charity today.

Where we are working

More from Democratic Republic of Congo

DRC: Behind every number

Thomas Silfverberg is a Swedish doctor working in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has recently been working on measles in Mulongo and shares his experiences with us.more

Measles epidemic in DRC: "Every day we discover new deaths from measles in communities”

A measles epidemic is gaining momentum in the Katanga region of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Augustin Ngoyi, coordinating the response by Médecins Sans Frontières is in Kabalo health zone, the epicentre of the outbreak....more

More on Conflict/Violence

Initial Reaction to US Military Investigation into Kunduz Attack

Christopher Stokes, Médecins Sans Frontières General Director.more

Lake Chad: “The only certainty is that people will remain uprooted and continue to live in fear”

The Lake Chad region has become the epicentre of violence with continued attacks by the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, also known as Boko Haram. Government military operations in response are also...more


Subscribe to me on YouTube

DR Congo: Lives at risk as fighting continues in Katanga province

Democratic Republic of Congo / 22.02.2013

Médecins Sans Frontières' Dr Thomas Mollet (L) and nurse Daddy Eale Lomyaka (R), currently working in the Democratic Republic of Congo where ongoing fighting between government forces and Mai-Mai militias in Katanga province has caused thousands of people to flee into the surrounding bush in fear of their lives. © MSF-HOLLAND

Fighting between government forces and Mai-Mai militias in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo has caused thousands of people to flee their homes and hundreds to seek refuge at the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Shamwana.

For the past few weeks, around 500 people have been living in the grounds of the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital. After it proved difficult to maintain a satisfactory level of hygiene and fearing a disease outbreak, the medical team managed to convince the town’s remaining residents to move outside the compound.

People living here are terrified,” said Médecins Sans Frontières’ Dr Thomas Mollet, in Shamwana. “We’re surrounded by empty villages and have seen a drop in patient numbers at the hospital. People have fled and don’t dare to seek medical treatment - they’re too scared.”

Médecins Sans Frontières outreach activities to the surrounding area have been affected by the fighting. Some Congolese nurses employed by Médecins Sans Frontières have been forced to leave their posts and flee with the population into the bush. The Médecins Sans Frontières health centres in Monga and Kishale have been looted and solar panels stripped from the roof. The team is striving to deliver medicines to the remaining health posts in the area.

Several patients with urgent referrals from health clinics have not made it to the hospital. The medical consequences are often severe when people cannot access essential healthcare. Last week a child died of severe malaria after a road block delayed arrival at the hospital.

We’re seeing patients who arrive at a very late stage, often in a life-threatening condition, and in need of emergency care,” said Dr Mollet. “One of our first cases was a pregnant woman who had been in labour for days but was too afraid to travel when complications arose. Her baby died before she reached our hospital but we were able to save her life.”

Médecins Sans Frontières has been running a referral hospital in the town of Shamwana since May 2006 providing people living in the Kiambi, Mitwaba and Kilwa health zones with free healthcare. Medical teams treat malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malnutrition and provide reproductive health services, mental health care and emergency surgery.


Location Map - Democratic Republic of Congo -

Powered by 29travels

Thanks to the generous support of donors, Médecins Sans Frontières provides emergency, independent, medical humanitarian action to people living in extreme circumstances.

more info

We are always looking for competent people who are willing to live and work within an international team, share their skills and dedicate their time to support our...

more info