22 Workers Left in Hospital in M23 Controlled Territory

2774 Views Bunagana, Democratic Republic of the Congo

In short
Jomba hospital, the only hospital in the territory held by the M23 rebels in North Kivu province Eastern Congo, has run out of supplies.

Jomba hospital, the only hospital in the territory held by the M23 rebels in North Kivu province Eastern Congo, has run out of supplies.
The hospital located in Kinyamahura, Karambo , Rucuru zone about 35 kilometres from the Ugandan border is being forced to turn away hundreds of people seeking treatment because it no longer has supplies.
The hospital with a bed capacity of 100 patients regularly serves over 100,000 people especially those involved in accidents, expectant mothers and those injured in the war. Medics at the facility say their supplies at an end though. 
The health workers say that ever since the fighting started mid last year, they have not received fresh supplies from the government. The hospital relies on drugs brought in by humanitarian agencies.
Clement Mwenezinkiko is a clinical officer at the hospital confirms the fact that most drugs are on the verge of finished
He says that though relative calm has returned to the area, hundreds of people flock the facility in need of services but at times they fail to handle complicated cases.
Wearing a tattered clinical coat, Mwenezinkiko describes the hospital as overstretched.
He explains that a hospital ambulance used to help transport expectant mothers from the areas of Cyanzu, Kyengerero, Nyarubaara, Cheya,Gitovu,Kinyamahura,Runyoni,kamukuyo among others. But since that ambulance broke down, men have to carry the women on their shoulders to the hospital.
Zawadi Nyiramugisha, a midwife at the hospital, says most of the personnel abandoned the hospital two years ago after the Kinshasa government stopped paying their salaries. Their only hope for survival are allowances they receive from humanitarian organisations in the area.
Nyiramugisha says that though an average of 85 women give birth at the hospital every month, there are only three midwives to attend to them.
The entire hospital is now run by a group of 22 people who include the support staff. They at times get support from a nearby Kinyamahura Catholic Parish Church.
The hospital also suffers from chronic electricity blackouts.
 She explains that management has decided to disconnect parts of the hospital to concentrate what little electricity they have to the theatre.
Bertrand Bisiimwa, the new M23 president, explains that the rebels are trying to source for assistance for the hospital.
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He further reveals that with the reorganization of the movement, he hopes that the locals  under the rebel held territory will be given the first priority saying that schools too which have been closed for over 10 months will reopen.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.