Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Since 2002, we have helped lead the battle against widespread gender-based violence in war-ravaged eastern DRC. Our holistic approach to tackling sexual and gender-based violence includes providing increased access to quality medical, psychosocial, legal and livelihood services.
Our behaviour change projects prevent future cases by changing individual, societal and community attitudes around gender and violence and consider the consequences of gender-based violence, not only for survivors, but also for families and communities as a whole. Through education, we promote positive behaviour and reduce stigma so that survivors and their families can benefit from more supportive communities. We also train and engage local health services, teachers, youth workers, community and religious leaders in gender-based violence prevention and compassionate support for survivors. Our work on gender-based violence and behaviour change is funded by USAID.
Primary Health Care We currently support 41 clinics and hospitals in the inaccessible Walkikale and Itebero health zones in North Kivu,providing medical supplies, training, and referral and transfer for patients who need specialised care. Our beneficiaries include internally displaced people, Congolese refugees returning home and vulnerable host populations. Due to the large gaps in health care services, our support includes immunisation campaigns, maternal and child health and improving the sanitation and hygiene practices of health facilities. Over 75 per cent of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea cases in the facilities we support are successfully treated, while we continue to support these health centres to build capacity to ensure treatment quality stays high.
Nutrition and Food Security Together with UNICEF and the World Food Programme, International Medical Corps has provided nutrition programmes in many communities of North and South Klvu to treat severely and moderately malnourished children and adults.
International Medical Corps not only provides direct care for malnourished people, but also works to create more sustainable solutions to hunger by engaging parents in the fight against malnutrition. To help parents take control of their families’ nutritional needs, International Medical Corps provides them with the nutritional education, seeds, tools and training to grow their own staple crops. Through our efforts and those of our local partners, thousands of children have recovered from malnutrition, including those who are severely malnourished.
Water and Sanitation As many health facilities in DRC lack running water, latrines and other basic sanitation services, International Medical Corps works with health centres to construct and rehabilitate water sources and install rain water catchment systems. To ensure the sustainability of these efforts, International Medical Corps establishes local water and sanitation committees and educates villagers on the proper maintenance and storage of water and sanitation supplies and sources, as well as the importance of water purification, proper hand-washing and other hygiene practices.
Reproductive Health Family planning and reproductive health services are a huge priority in DRC, particularly gynaecological and obstetric care in an area in which 98 per cent of all obstetric compications result from either low standard medical care or rape. We have increased the quality and availability of reproductive and maternal health care, as well as the uptake of these services which is significantly improving women and children’s long-term health.
We are currently building a reproductive health complex by the International Medical Corps-established Chambucha hospital in North Klvu, which will provide a well-equipped, accessible facility staffed by trained, qualified medical personnel who can offer a wide range of health services for sexual assault survivors, as well as education and counselling.
Building sustainable local health capacity In close collaboration with DRC’s Ministry of Health and local NGOs, we are establishing groups of well-trained knowledgeable local health professionals. We are building local health capacity by training Ministry of Health staff, community health workers, community leaders and providing health education training to community members.