DR Congo: Worrying influx of wounded people at Beni and Goma hospitals (20.04.2021)

Between 12 and 14 April, 36 people wounded north of Goma were admitted to Bethesda Hospital, bringing the total number hospitalized there to 68.

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, April 20, 2021 – Following recent demonstrations and other violence around North Kivu, in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, more than 120 wounded people are being treated at Beni General Referral Hospital and Bethesda Hospital in Goma (also known as CBCA Ndosho Hospital) with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has also provided medical supplies to other facilities treating the wounded.

On 14 April 2021, medical teams supported by the ICRC were treating 51 wounded people at Beni General Referral Hospital, including nine admitted in connection with the recent demonstrations. Another six people wounded in other demonstrations were being treated in Butembo and Oicha, outside Beni. Between 12 and 14 April, 36 people wounded north of Goma were admitted to Bethesda Hospital, bringing the total number hospitalized there to 68.

“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 subdelegation in Goma. “Our teams have been mobilized 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.”

The ICRC is also monitoring whether medical personnel are being allowed to carry out their activities unhindered. Medical workers, facilities and transport must be respected and protected, and all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that the wounded and sick have safe and timely access to proper care. All of this is critical in situations of violence.

In addition, the ICRC has heard reports of children losing contact with their families during the recent violence north of Goma. The organization is in contact with the local Red Cross to assess whether and how it might be able to help.

The ICRC has been helping to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other violence in North Kivu since 1993. It provides support to several medical facilities that stabilize and treat people wounded in the violence. Those most seriously injured are transferred to Bethesda Hospital in Goma, where the ICRC has set up a war surgery programme.

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