Democratic Republic of the Congo

We work with national and local organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure that women, children, and communities—especially those who live in fragile settings—can access the health care they need.

Kate Holt/MCSP

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest country in Francophone Africa. USAID defines the current political situation in DRC as a complex emergency, which has made it difficult for women, children, and communities to access the health care they need.

MOMENTUM collaborates with the government and national and local organizations to transform health care in the country. Our aim is to ensure women, children, and families get access to high-quality, respectful maternal, newborn, and child health, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health care (MNCH/FP/RH) services.

Through our partnerships, we work to strengthen routine immunization, increase access to care for infectious diseases, and expand access and use of nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene services.  While we work across DRC, we also focus on the complex environment in the province of North Kivu.

Fragile Settings

Strengthening Health Resilience and Fighting Infectious Diseases in Fragile Settings

Recurrent Ebola outbreaks, conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic have made DRC’s North Kivu province a fragile environment. In collaboration with partners in DRC, MOMENTUM builds on USAID-funded Ebola response efforts to improve and restore MNCH/FP/RH services in the region. We increase health resilience in North Kivu by enhancing the capacity of individuals, communities, and health systems to plan and implement health strategies that reach affected populations and address the root causes of poor health and fragility. MOMENTUM also enhances cross-sectoral collaboration between the development health sector and humanitarian aid organizations presently operating in North Kivu.

One of DRC’s chronic vulnerabilities is its high rate of tuberculosis (TB): 270,000 people in DRC fell ill with TB in 2018.6 MOMENTUM is developing a program to support screening, rapid testing, treatment, and TB counseling at the community and facility levels in North Kivu.

Paul Jeffrey/IMA World Health
Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Maintaining Access to Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Care in North Kivu

Conflict, Ebola outbreaks, and the COVID-19 pandemic have severely disrupted access to essential health services in North Kivu. Our comprehensive approach strengthens DRC’s capacity to plan and deliver these services and help transition them from a humanitarian to a development context. For example, in North Kivu, MOMENTUM works in close collaboration with national and provincial Ministry of Health counterparts, USAID-funded development and humanitarian projects, and United Nations organizations to improve maternal, newborn, and child health. We also work with our partners to ensure a steady supply of quality drugs and other health products for women, children, and communities in North Kivu.

MOMENTUM ensures that mechanisms for community input and health facility feedback are established to improve and strengthen community health services. For example, we support monthly meetings that include representatives from health facilities, community leaders, and NGOs, who meet to assess health priorities and trends and create action plans to address these needs. We also support and enhance the capacity of community health workers, who also worked during DRC’s Ebola outbreaks, in MNCH and primary health care messaging, referral, and reporting. Our support includes facilitating regular meetings between these health workers and MOMENTUM staff to discuss their activities and reflect on lessons learned from their experiences.

Sean Hawkey/IMA World Health
Voluntary Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Tailored Solutions for Family Planning and Reproductive Health

MOMENTUM engages with local organizations and leaders in DRC’s communities to select and tailor to local contexts proven family planning interventions and messages and minimize barriers to family planning, which are often rooted in harmful gender norms. At health facilities, we improve providers’ knowledge and skills to supply a broader range of contraceptive methods than is typically available in DRC, especially long-acting reversible contraceptives. We also work with providers to ensure quality counseling, address biases, and promote adolescent-responsive care.

To fight malnutrition in DRC, MOMENTUM integrates family planning and nutrition services—along with services for tuberculosis control and reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health—in targeted zones throughout DRC. Public and private health facility readiness is strengthened to provide quality, people-centered, integrated services.

Kate Holt/MCSP
Immunization

Increasing Routine Immunization Coverage

DRC is one of the most vulnerable countries to vaccine-preventable diseases; only 35 percent of children are fully vaccinated.7 MOMENTUM supports the DRC government to implement the Mashako Plan, aiming to increase immunization coverage nationwide by 15 percent. As part of our work, we use a co-creation approach to identify and address persistent barriers to equitable immunization coverage and identify high-potential interventions and strategies to overcome these barriers.

Julien Harneis/Flickr
COVID-19

Supporting COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction

MOMENTUM is providing tailored technical assistance to help DRC introduce the COVID-19 vaccine. We are working closely with the national immunization program and other partners to identify priority populations and design service delivery and communication strategies to reach them.

MONUSCO/John Bompengo
About the MOMENTUM Projects Working in DRC

MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience works in DRC to strengthen health resilience, maintain access to MNCH care in fragile settings, and create solutions for family planning and reproductive health.

MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity works to increase routine immunization coverage in DRC and supports the government to introduce the COVID-19 vaccine.

References

  1. Population Reference Bureau. International Data: Democratic Republic of the Congo. 2020. https://www.prb.org/international/geography/congo-dem-rep
  2. Population Reference Bureau. International Data: Democratic Republic of the Congo. 2020. https://www.prb.org/international/geography/congo-dem-rep
  3. UNICEF. Data Warehouse Cross-Sector Indicators: Democratic Republic of the Congo. 2017. https://data.unicef.org/resources/data_explorer/unicef_f/?ag=UNICEF&df=GLOBAL_DATAFLOW&ver=1.0&dq=COD.MNCH_MMR.&startPeriod=1970&endPeriod=2021
  4. Population Reference Bureau. International Data: Democratic Republic of the Congo. 2020. https://www.prb.org/international/geography/congo-dem-rep
  5. Countdown to 2030. Countdown Country Dashboard: Democratic Republic of the Congo. https://profiles.countdown2030.org/#/ds/COD
  6. WHO. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – Integrating tuberculosis screening into community-based HIV activities. July 2, 2020. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/democratic-republic-of-the-congo-integrating-tuberculosis-screening-into-community-based-hiv-activities
  7. UNICEF. Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2018-2019. 2020. https://mics.unicef.org/surveys

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