DR Congo

WHO Health cluster DRC Situation Report No. 14, 18 Nov 2008


Latest information on the actions of WHO and its Health Cluster partners and on the medical needs during the current crisis in North Kivu.

- Cholera cases continue to increase in North Kivu: 15 new recorded cases Tuesday 18 Nov compared to 14 cases a day earlier

- Kanyabayonga town was deserted 18 November and many houses damaged

- New DRC chief of staff of armed forces appointed

- Laurent Nkunda's troops announce their "unilateral withdrawal" to 40 km on two fronts


Humanitarian situation in the conflict zones (Rutshuru, Kiwanja, Rwindi, Kibati etc) remains increasingly precarious despite the calm that exists there to today. In these zones, cholera cases are clearly increasing among the displaced population. On 17-18 November, there were 29 new cases of cholera without death being notified, primarily in Rutshuru.

Under WHO's coordination, a Health Cluster meeting took place 18 November and adopted a distribution plan of 10 tons of medicines into various health zones.

1- Distribution sites:

- Goma health zone: 6 basic kits

- Karisimbi health zone: 18 basic kits

- Rutshuru health zone: 8 basic kits

- Kirotshe health zone: 18 basic kits

- Mweso health zone: 18 basic kits

- Masisi health zone: 15 basic kits

- Pinga health zone: 40 basic kits

- Walikale health zone: 36 health kits

WHO experts continue evaluation activities of evaluation on the ground and support medical authorities to reinforce epidemiological monitoring, cleaning of displacement sites, identification and filling of urgent needs.

Contacts also took place with the provincial authorities and health partners to improve interventions on the ground.

The strategic city of Kanyabayonga, located 100 kilometers north of Gummed, was deserted of its inhabitants on 18 November and many houses were damaged.

It was expected that Lt. Gen Didier Etumba Longombe, the new chief of DRC armed forces on 17 November, would take charge

The CDNP of Laurent Nkunda announced 18 November that it was going to operate "a unilateral withdrawal of his troops to a distance of 40 km" from two fronts, namely the Kanyabayonga-Nyanzale axis and the Kabasha-Kiwanja axis "to give a new chance to peace."

CHOLERA: that was a marked increase in the cases of cholera in North Kivu with 15 new cases without death on 18 November compared to 14 the day before. These cases were admitted to cholera treatment centres (CTC) of the general reference hospitals of Rutshuru (8 cases), Buturande (4 cases) and the Gummed provincial reference hospital (3 cases).

SEXUAL VIOLENCE: during the week of 12-18 November, at least 20 cases of sexual violence were reported in the city of Gummed by the provincial health services.

WHO and UNICEF, in support of the provincial Ministry of Health, continue their close cooperation in a measles vaccination campaign in North Kivu. After Kirotshe and Kibati, the next stage of the polio and measles vaccination campaign will target Masisi

WHO chaired on 18 November an extraordinary Health Cluster meeting in Goma to evaluate medical activities during 12-17 November and to implement a distribution plan for medicines. At the end of the meeting, two recommendations were delivered for:

- WHO and the provincial health inspection authorities (IPS) to guarantee the efficacy of the exemption from payment of the care for three months.

- WHO and the IPS must ensure follow-up of the use of drugs and accelerate the process of drug distribution to beneficiaries

UNFPA has distributed medicine kits and materials for basic obstetric care to the Gummed provincial reference hospital. Also, 500 childbirth kits were given to the MERLIN NGO to support the Rutshuru health zone.

The health centres of Kibumba and Kibati were supported with maternity kits and 30 000 condoms were distributed to the same zones.


* Humanitarian access is vital to respond to the displaced and provide humanitarian assistance.

For more information, please contact:

The Representative of WHO in Democratic Republic of Congo Dr. Matthieu Kamwa, e-mail: kamwam@cd.afro.who.int

Dr. Brice Ahounou, Not Focal EHA/DRC, e-mail: ahounoub@cd.afro.who.int

Mr. Eugene Kabambi, Head of Communications, EHA/RDC, e-mail: kabambie@cd.afro.who.int