We can only reach future mothers, such as Gloria, with the help of mobile clinics
Martin Bandžák, director of the MAGNA humanitarian organisation
One day in April this year, our team of doctors and nurses set out with me on a regular journey to see patients in remote communities in the Kasai region in Congo. With the help of a mobile clinic we get to patients who would otherwise not get medical aid, or if they did then it would usually arrive late. Distances here in Congo are huge, and the journey to the nearest hospital often takes several days for a mother and her child.
People here have very little. This area was hit by armed groups, and after the brutal attacks many people left last year. Life is slowly returning though, but there simply isn’t any health service here, many children suffer from malaria, they have diarrhea, they battle against acute respiratory infections, and future mothers fight problems during pregnancy.
One of those is Gloria, who was diagnosed by the MAGNA medical team as having severe anemia, and the team provided treatment for her. “I am already extremely excited about having my first child. If it will be a boy his name will be Justin, like your doctor,” Gloria says. Untreated anemia can endanger the life of the mother and of her child.
In the space of six hours our team provided consultation to 80 patients, including many children and pregnant women. MAGNA is one of few humanitarian organisations in this area, and it is often the only lifeline for children and future mothers like Gloria who desperately need health care.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo a conflict has been raging for over 20 years. Last year though the humanitarian situation in Kasai got a lot worse due to the conflict, and over 13 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, making it the area with the greatest humanitarian crisis in Africa. Over 7 million people don’t have enough food, and 2 million children are seriously malnourished.
MAGNA health care teams operate in various areas of Congo (Kasai, Equatoria and Kinshasa), and they provide medical aid to hundreds of thousands of people. We operate mobile health care clinics, we provide equipment for hospitals and ensure that the hospitals are operational, and we help mothers in remote communities giving birth. We provide medical aid and psychological social aid to victims of violence, and we provide highly nutritious food to children in situations of hunger.
The consequences can have a devastating impact on children stuck in forgotten crises, such as those in Congo.
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