Integrated Health Project: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: MSH}Baby Ilunga with his mother, Ruth Mukadi.Photo credit: MSH

Young children at 10 community care sites already benefiting from new study In 2012, malaria was the leading cause of death for children under the age of five in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), accounting for 18 percent of under-five deaths.

{Photo Credit: Warren Zelman}Photo Credit: Warren Zelman

Each year, nearly 300,000 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Approximately 7.6 million children do not live to see their fifth birthday. Most of the major direct causes of maternal and child mortality are preventable. MSH's maternal and child health interventions begin before pregnancy, with integrated family planning and HIV services, and continue through the life of the child.

 {Photo credit: International Rescue Committee}Donors give blood in Uvira.Photo credit: International Rescue Committee

When 20-year-old Christine* gave birth at the health center of Kabinda in Uvira in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), she suffered from a ruptured uterus during delivery. The nurse referred her to the Uvira General Referral Hospital (GRH), where health workers confirmed that her life was in danger due to blood loss.

 {Photo credit: Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd.}A community health worker facilitates an educational session on family planning methods.Photo credit: Overseas Strategic Consulting, Ltd.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranks among the top 20 countries with the highest death rates of mothers and children, often due to health complications resulting from poor family planning and lack of birth spacing. In the Kole health zone, the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded DRC Integrated Health Project (DRC-IHP) is addressing this challenge through the grassroots Champion Community approach.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

Malnutrition is an underlying cause of 45 percent of deaths in children under the age of five worldwide and leaves 165 million children stunted, compromising cognitive development and physical capabilities. Chronically malnourished children are, on average, nearly 20 percent less literate than those who have a nutritious diet. Thus, malnutrition can shape a society's long-term health, stability, and prosperity.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Marie Miambokila Mumba and her newborn twins at the Luiza General Referral Hospital in Kasaï Occidental, DRC.Photo credit: MSH

Marie Miambokila Mumba, 38, had a smooth pregnancy and attended all of her scheduled prenatal consultations at the Luiza Tutante Health Center, located in Kasaï Oriental province in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). When Mumba was ready to give birth at the Luiza General Referral Hospital in August 2014, her baby was delivered safely by skilled birth attendant Judith Kambuyi.

 {Photo credit: Amélie Sow-Dia/MSH}Fortunée Kabeya and her newborn baby at the Muaka Health Center in Mwene Ditu, August 2014.Photo credit: Amélie Sow-Dia/MSH

It is 1 p.m. in Mwene Ditu, a crossroads town in the province of Kasaï Oriental, the nexus of diamond mining in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Fortunée Kabeya* has just given birth at the Muaka health center. Céline Bukasa, the head nurse, assisted Fortunée’s delivery, and mother and baby are doing well.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff.}A lab technician in the DRC’s Kasaï Oriental Province who received training on HIV-TB co-infection.Photo credit: MSH staff.

People living with HIV or tuberculosis (TB) face many health challenges, but when infected with both of these diseases, their struggles multiply, because each disease accelerates the other’s progression. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is ranked eighth among countries reporting the highest rates of HIV/TB co-infection. To manage the burden of care at such a level, countries must have well-trained staff in a health system that takes an integrated approach to care and treatment.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Thérèse Ashingo proudly shows off her healthy son after two months of exclusive breastfeeding.Photo credit: MSH

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, child malnutrition is a leading cause of infant and child mortality. In the Kole health zone in Kasaï Oriental province, 23 children were diagnosed with severe malnutrition between February and April 2013, with two infants under six months old dying from the condition. Community health workers have recently made strides in addressing this issue, with the support of the USAID-funded Integrated Health Project (DRC-IHP), led by Management Sciences for Health with partners the International Rescue Committee and Overseas Strategic Consulting.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Solar panels being installed at the Mukanga General Reference Hospital.Photo credit: MSH

Surgical lamps. Ultrasound machines. Autoclaves. These are essential pieces of equipment in any hospital, and they all run on electricity. In the remote areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, electricity is a rare commodity. In Mukanga, a rural health zone in Katanga Province, the lack of electrical power was putting sick people at greater risk of death, says Dr. Kasongo Nkulu, Medical Director of Mukanga General Reference Hospital.

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