MAGNA Coordinator Sophie Demay: Survivors of sexual violence need medical aid. That´s what we do.
Sophie Demay has been a MAGNA medical aid field project coordinator in capital city Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo since September 2015. Sophie coordinates four medical projects in Kinshasa that MAGNA currently runs. MAGNA holds two projects on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), operates nutrition program in 22 health centers and started a new project on Mother and Child Health.
There is a serious problem with sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Congo. The victims of SGBV are not provided sufficient medical aid and support. What are the reasons for the spread of sexual and gender based violence?
The civil war in Congo and local armed groups have caused unstable situation in the country for more than ten years. Children and women are the most vulnerable group in any kind of conflict. That is why MAGNA runs two Sexual and gender based violence projects in nine
different hospitals or health centers. We recently managed to open the medical aid project in Kintambo hospital. It is inevitable to assure access and quality medical care for survivors of sexual violence. Consequently a new project of Mother and Child Health focuses on newborn mortality prevention and MAGNA longstanding nutrition project is related to it.
MAGNA is operating in DR Congo (DRC) since 2009. What has been accomplished? Is it possible to anchor the positive changes in community?
I share MAGNA´s principles and the motivation of its aid workers. Due to the fact that MAGNA has been in field providing medical care for many years and puts emphasis on necessity to integrate its programs with local and national systems, it implies sustainability. I do think that it is possible to improve the peoples´ way of life in fragile states by involving them in planning, design and implementation of projects. The goal is to include the locals in medical projects, research and consequently through advocacy address the authorities to adjust health care provision. And that is what MAGNA does in DRC successfully.
What are the ambitions of the projects?
As I have mentioned earlier the overall goal is to assure longevity of the medical aid projects through involving local leaders. Currently we have Evariste, medical coordinator and Angele nutrition and health team leader both from the community. As for the projects, for example, the nutrition program activities plan to reach up to 2.800 children from 0 to 6 months, 7.500 from 6 to 23 months, 14.600 children in the age 23 to 59 months and 9.356 pregnant and lactating women in the two working zones. The direct contact with the beneficiaries through the community health workers is essential part of MAGNA approach.
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