Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Population: 71,712,867 (July 2011 est)
GDP per capita (PPP):  $300 (2010 est)
Total expenditure on health per capita: $7 (Intl $, 2009)

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formally known as Zaire) is in Central Africa and is one of the largest and most populous nations. It has had many years of civil war and strife, with some stability appearing in the last few years.

In-Country partner #1: Clinique Pour Jeunes Diabetiques (Dr. Margureite DeClerck and colleagues).

Life for a Child Support

Commenced 2003

There are great needs in health in DRC. The Government health system has few resources, and cannot provide insulin or other supplies for people with diabetes. Children and youth with diabetes, and their families, face a multitude of challenges. Many children with diabetes die quickly, and most others have very poor blood sugar control. The Catholic Health Service in the capital Kinshasa has a program for youth with diabetes. Basic but capable medical care is provided through clinics to the many children and youth with diabetes in and around the capital.

In 2003, LFAC started supporting the care of 30 children, and with further support from corporate and individual partners this has grown to full support for 300 (Dec, 2011).  Donated insulin from Eli Lilly is shipped in, and funds are used to purchase meters and strips for the clinic;  diabetes education and resource materials are also provided or funded - the graphic novel 'Moseka' is an excellent example of a high-quality local resource that has since been distributed to other French-speaking African nations and also translated into English. LFAC also provides funds for the medical care of young type 1 women who are pregnant – stillbirth and other complications rates are very high in this group.

In-Country partner #2: Association des Diabetiques du Congo (ADIC) (Mr Alfred Kakisingi and colleagues)

The city of Goma, capital of the North Kivu province, lies in the far eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering the Rwandan city of Gisenyi.

Life for a Child Support

Commenced early 2012

ADIC’s work was brought to LFAC’s attention by Insulin for Life, whose Austrian, Australian, and German branches were all contributing donated insulin and blood glucose monitoring equipment to support the organisation’s crucial work. Of the 51 youth under 23 years, few have either meters or strips, and insulin is always in short supply. LFAC sent through the first shipment of donated insulin in June 2012, and is now working on other provisions.