from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – HOSPITALS in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are battling an influx of admissions amid escalating violence in the region.
The North Kivu province is the epicentre of the clashes during demonstrations by civilians against terror by armed groups and alleged inaction by the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) disclosed more than 120 wounded people were being treated at Beni General Referral Hospital and Bethesda Hospital in Goma.
“Currently almost all 74 beds at Bethesda Hospital are occupied, and all 43 beds at Beni General Referral Hospital are occupied,” said Kelnor Panglungtshang, head of the ICRC’s sub-delegation in Goma.
Panglungtshang said Red Cross teams had been mobilised for more than a week to help hospitals cope with the influx.
“We’ve also provided medical supplies and medicines to help hospitals, including the Congolese National Police Hospital, cope with the growing number of patients.”
Medical personnel are reportedly hindered from carrying out their activities.
In addition, the ICRC reported that children were losing contact with their families during the recent violence that left at least ten people dead north of Goma.
North Kivu is politically unstable and since 1998 has been one of the flashpoints of the military conflicts in the region.
The region was the scene of much fighting during the Second Congo War between 1998 and 2003 and the Kivu conflict that has been raging since 2004.
– CAJ News