Urgent need of assistance for displaced Congolese suffering from mental disorders

Pediatric center at Mapendo health center. The center has an attendance rate of 112%.

Pediatric center at Mapendo health center. The center has an attendance rate of 112%.

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The end of a Caritas Goma project last December has meant that many patients suffering from severe mental disorders are completely vulnerable and left without care and support.

The Mapendo health centre, 4 km from Rutshuru, is filled with busy men and women. Some look  healthy, others who are accompanied by their brother, sister, father or mother look less so. In fact, they appear lost and helpless .

All these people suffer from mental disorders and for years have been left behind. But in July 2012, thanks to an initiative by Luxembourg Pharmacists Without Borders, these particularly vulnerable people have finally received the support and care they deserve.

Through this project, Caritas Goma  was the only organisation to support  and care for  people with epilepsy and mental disorders  and cater for them  in this part of the Democratic Republic of Congo where health facilities are too often neglected or unable to manage such patients.

Since the end of the project in December 2012, the people suffering from mental disorders  do not know where to go.

Caritas Goma  was receiving  the technical and managerial support of Pharmacists Without Borders / Luxembourg, for eight health facilities in the two territories of Rutshuru and Masisi. The project boosted the attendance rate from 10 to 97% for the majority of structures and in the case of Mapendo and Vitshumbi Murambi , up to 112%.

Three health centres specifically  supported  cases of epilepsy and serious mental disorders and were also able to notice a significant demand  in paediatrics and maternity care as well as  cases of HIV / AIDS.

These structures are models of health care support programmes, but they require long-term care and expensive drugs distribution. Regardless of the success and appreciation this project received from the beneficiaries, but also from the Congolese Ministry of Health , it ended in December 2012.

People  suffering from mental  disorders  are still there, but for how long? Without funds and support, they are again abandoned, with reasons to feel lost and forsaken.

Rutshuru, Nord Kivu – Besoins urgents d’assistance pour des déplacés Congolais souffrant de troubles mentaux

Un projet mis en place par la Caritas de Goma s’est terminé en décembre, laissant de nombreux malades souffrants de troubles psychiques graves,  entièrement vulnérables et sans structure de soutien.

Une jeune femme déplacée de guerre, souffrant  de troubles mentaux,  mais aussi victime de violences sexuelles  perpétrées dans son lieu de refuge. [Photo : Caritas Goma]

Au centre de santé de Mapendo, à 4 km de Rutshuru, des hommes et des femmes s’activent. Certains semblent en bonne santé, d’autres le sont moins, accompagnés de leur frère, sœur, père ou mère, ils paraissent perdus et désemparés.

Ces personnes souffrent toutes de troubles mentaux, et depuis des années avait été laissés pour compte, mais en  juillet 2012, grâce à une initiative luxembourgeoise en coopération avec  Pharmaciens Sans Frontières du Luxembourg, ces personnes particulièrement vulnérables avait enfin reçu une aide et des soins adaptés.

La Caritas de Goma avec ce projet est la seule organisation à prendre en charge ces malades mais aussi les gens souffrant d’épileptie, dans le contexte de la République démocratique du Congo où les structures sanitaires sont trop souvent délaissés ou incapable de gérer ce type de patients.

Depuis la fin du projet, en décembre 2012, les malades mentaux ne savent plus où aller.

En effet, Pharmaciens Sans Frontières/Luxembourg qui accompagné la Caritas de Goma dans l’administration des soins et la gestion de huit structures de santé dans les  territoires de Rutshuru et de Masisi , ont cessé leur opération.


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