Uvira, 13 January 2012 – Under a project expected to bring lasting benefits to the population of Sud Kivu, UN peacekeepers based in the area undertook the rehabilitation of the Uvira medical school, a major center of education in the province. The project was recently completed and handed over to Congolese authorities.
Pakistani peacekeepers from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) carried out the rehabilitation work, which consisted of revamping the classrooms, which were falling apart due to lack of maintenance. In addition, they equipped the school with tables and chairs, and built a shelter in the courtyard for visitors, and to top it off, they planted trees around the school premises, and constructed a footbridge right at the entrance.
In a special ceremony on 10 January, the Pakistani commander the Sud Kivu Brigade, Brigadier General Nadir Khan, officially handed over the newly rehabilitated piece of infrastructure to the Congolese authorities responsible for the coordination of medical schools at the provincial level. Participants at the ceremony included student nurses from the school, local civilian and military authorities, representatives of United Nations agencies, local and international NGOs, and several MONUSCO officials. The school is currently training some 400 students, 70 % of whom are young women.
The provincial coordinator of medical schools in Sud Kivu, Cyprien Musanza, said the newly refurbished Institut technique médical (ITM) of Uvira was in fact the first in 38 existing medical schools in the province to be rehabilitated by MONUSCO. In most of these schools, he added, students study in the most appalling conditions.
General Khan said the long-term objective of this Quick Impact Project, which funded the work, was to promote a better learning environment for nurses and consequently to improve the quality of health care provided to the sick. “My troops will stand ready to assist you with any problem regarding the maintenance of the rehabilitated building,” he said.
MONUSCO Head of Office in Uvira, sought to dispel any ambiguity as to the objectives of Quick Impact Projects undertaken by the Mission to bring immediate solutions to communities. These projects, he explained, do not purport to substitute for the State which has the primary responsibility to assist the Congolese population, but rather to support the State in its efforts.