Integrated Health Project: Our Impact

Justine during a home visit with a father and his son. {Photo credit: MSH}

Justine Mbombo, age 38, lives in a small village called Beya in Kasaï Occidental Province in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with a population of roughly 520 people. There are more than 100 children under age 5 in Justine’s village, and no doctor. Watching children suffer has affected Justine deeply and moved her to become more involved in the health of her community.“In January 2010, we were affected by a measles epidemic that caused the deaths of many children under age 5.

 {Photo credit: Overseas Strategic Consulting.}Frank Baraka (left) sews a bed net to use as a fishing net.Photo credit: Overseas Strategic Consulting.

It is 1 p.m. in the village of Kavimvira. The sun is high over Lake Tanganyika, at the foot of the Mitumba Mountain, in scenic Sud Kivu. Frank Baraka has packed the bounty of the morning fishing trip and folded his nets, when his cell phone chimes to signal an incoming text message: “Sleep every night under an Insecticide-Treated Net (ITN), to protect your family from malaria,” he reads out loud, amused, to his fishing companion. 

Nurse Mpala Muhungu in Lubudi, with two children diagnosed with TB following the DRC-IHP training. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Nearly one in two cases of active tuberculosis (TB) went undetected in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010, due to inadequate screening for the disease.

Imukalayi Ulunga holds her son, Mardochet. Picture from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Katanga Province. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Weighing less than three pounds at birth, tiny Mardochet Ulunga might have become another infant mortality statistic, but for one thing: he was born in a health facility where the staff just been trained in kangaroo mother care (KMC).

Involving Men Along With Women in Family Planning in the DRC. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

Family planning services in developing countries often focus solely on women, neglecting the role of men in the family and proving ineffective in countries where women can't make decisions regarding their own health. In the rural Kamiji health zone of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), however, the USAID-funded Democratic Republic of Congo-Integrated Health Project (DRC-IHP), led by MSH, has begun an effort to increase the number of people using family planning that engages men as well as women.

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