HEAL Africa Partnership
Mugunga Primary School
In the Democratic Republic of Congo there is no free schooling. Many families cannot afford to provide an education for their children. HEAL Africa’s Mugunga School, established in 2004, is helping around 700 marginalised children and their families achieve the dream of attending school. Students achieve remarkable results despite the many difficulties they face.
The Mercy Fund is a discretionary fund for the most vulnerable patients at HEAL Africa hospital who cannot support their treatment costs. When patients, who badly need medical care, come to HEAL Africa, but cannot support the costs themselves, the hospital chaplain makes enquiries to assess the vulnerability of the patient by visiting the family and talking to neighbours etc. This prevents abusive use of these funds as the needs are always greater than the funds available. A poor patient is given the flexibility of paying for services in several instalments but the most vulnerable are taken care of through the Mercy Fund.
Medical Equipment Support
The Medical Engineering Department is an essential part of any hospital responsible for ordering, repairing and maintaining hospital equipment. The department at HEAL Africa use empty Sonic containers as a work place to set up, repair and maintain medical equipment. They also train technicians from other hospitals in Goma. Currently they are working on setting up a medical-grade oxygen plant (which will be the first one in Goma) and building an incineration plant.
Outreach Mobile Health Clinics
Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps are overflowing with thousands of homeless people living in deplorable conditions. HEAL Africa is responding to the emergency situation with IDPs in many ways. Emergency food and non-food items have been distributed and mobile clinics have been set up in the camps to treat patients. This is putting a massive strain on HEAL Africa’s resources as staff treat an increasing number of orthopaedic patients, those with handicaps and victims of sexual violence. Additional funds could be used to convert empty shipping containers into mobile health clinics.
HEAL Africa’s Fistula Support Program treats hundreds of women every year who suffer fistula as a result of sexual violence and obstructed pregnancy. Some women are healed, enabling them to enter HEAL Africa’s rehabilitation program, Wamama Simameni (Women Stand Up Together) where women are offered services such as counselling, literacy, nutrition and HIV education before rejoining community life. Despite numerous surgeries, others have irreparable fistula and continue to be shunned by their communities. Grounds for Hope provides a safe haven for these women and their children, offering inner healing, life of meaning and a lasting hope.
Children’s Clubfoot Program
The Democratic Republic of Congo has the highest incidence of clubfoot in the world–a birth deformity present in 5% of Congolese children. HEAL Africa runs a successful Ponseti Clinic to correct clubfoot through gentle manipulation, plaster casts and physiotherapy. Children can now live normal lives, where otherwise they would be crippled, disadvantaged and possibly abandoned. HEAL Africa is training large numbers of Orthopaedic officers who learn the Ponseti technique and can then do this important work in remote areas.
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