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Women's Healthcare Project - North Kivu, D.R. Congo
Category: Healthcare | By RFPD, 20-Feb-2012 | Viewed 8697  Comments 0 | Original Source
Opening ceremony of the Radiology and Dialysis Center and the launching of the Women's Health Care project. PicturedHerbert Weissenboeck, RC Innsbruck (yellow tie). To the right of Herbert is RFPD CC Claude Mukendi. They are surrounded by the Austrian/Italian/German and other Rotarians of Congo and the hospital officials.
By Herbert Weissenboeck, RC Innsbruck and Claude Mukendi, RFPD Country Chair, DR Congo

The province of North Kivu, its capital Goma, at the eastern border of the Republic of Congo, has a population of about 5.6 million. The region was strongly affected by the conflicts between the Hutus and Tutsis in the neighbouring Rwanda and has been the destination for flocks of refugees for many years. As there is only a limited state infrastructure, the church is playing a significant part in education, communication and healthcare. The Catholic Church has a well-functioning diocesan structure and is partnering with the Women's Healthcare Project. 

The mortality rates for mothers and children are very high in the region. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS especially among women is very high too. Women have limited access to education — the illiteracy rate is about 46 %. In the target area, the prevalence of epidemic diseases is high. 

The Women's Health Project will improve the general health situation by teaching a better knowledge of primary healthcare. It will provide an active network of medical personnel and influential people, so that the practice of primary healthcare, family planning and HIV prophylaxis can be implemented by using a carefully structured curriculum. The knowledge is matched with dominant cultural conditions, and passed on in workshops and village gatherings. 

Handover of Dialysis Equipment
In phase one, an eight person project group (doctors, care personnel and a person with experience in public health matters and scientific evaluation) will create a curriculum, teaching and demonstration materials for family planning and HIV prophylaxis for health care workshops. They particularly will take care to create cultural sensitive information. 

In phase two, a carefully chosen group including active personnel at the healthcare institutions of the Diocese of Goma, will be trained by an Austrian doctor to provide advice and education in the above mentioned subjects. 

Phase three: Personnel who have been chosen and trained in Goma will seek the support of influential people in the province who will afterwards establish workshops of their own to train up to 450 people. The goal is that all the trained people, supported with didactic equipment and materials, will organize all together 1000 village gatherings to spread the health information. 

The International partners of this Matching Grant project are RC Innsbruck, Austria, RC Brixen and RC Meran, Italy and RC München-Nymphenburg, Germany. The host partner is RC Kinshasa-Limete cooperating with RC Bukavu. The Rotary clubs will cooperate with the Diocese and Caritas of Goma and a NGO, the Austrian Help Program and the Austrian RFPD Section. The MG project sums up to US$ 66,650.00 and has recently started. 

The four Rotary Clubs have already established a Medical Analyse Centre at the Catholic Hospital in Goma, which is now the organization-centre of the Women's Healthcare Project.
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