Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Equateur Province

I came across a link to a press release by Doctors without Borders concerning a measles epidemic in DR Congo.  The epidemic is affecting Equateur and Orientale provinces in particular--Equateur is the province where we are providing aquaculture support.

From the press release mentioned above: "Martine has brought her 10-month-old daughter, Asiata, to the hospital in Dingila. The baby has measles with respiratory complications. They traveled 20 kilometers [about 12 miles] on foot to obtain medical care provided by MSF. In the intensive care unit, Félicien says he walked two days to bring Israël, his three-year-old son, who is in critical condition due to measles-related complications. “Our health post has no medicine,” he says. He reports that two children in his village have already died en route to the hospital." A disease that we hardly hear of in N America causes widespread grief in a region so desperate as DRC. 

During my first visit to DRC in 2008, I accompanied my guide to several rural hospitals and clinics.  These health centers were typically poorly-equipped, some to the point where they were hardly more than a meeting place for the sick, since health care providers had little to nothing by way of supplies. 

Medical provisions for a rural clinic that serves roughly 7000 people.
Although our support of aquaculture doesn't address this issue head-on, improving food security and increasing household income through this and other complementary initiatives impacts every aspect of livelihood.

Pastor Dole conducted our third training seminar in Tandala last week.  According to our budget, fifty farmers were invited to attend and receive the tool subsidy.  But because local fish farmers are so eager for assistance, an additional 100 people sat in on the seminar as observers!  So grows our impact.

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