Following recent protests and other violence around North Kivu, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 120 wounded are treated at the Beni General Referral Hospital and Bethesda Hospital in Goma (also known as CBCA Ndosho Hospital) with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which has also provided medical supplies to other facilities treating the injured.
On April 14, 2021, medical teams supported by the ICRC were treating 51 wounded at the Beni general referral hospital, nine of whom were admitted as part of the recent protests. Six other people injured in other protests were being treated in Butembo and Oicha, outside Beni. Between April 12 and 14, 36 injured people north of Goma were admitted to Bethesda hospital, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 68.
“Currently, almost all of the 74 beds at Bethesda hospital are occupied and the 43 beds at the Beni general referral hospital are occupied,” said Kelnor Panglungtshang, head of the ICRC subdelegation in Goma. “Our teams have been mobilized for over a week to help hospitals cope with the influx. We have also provided medical supplies and medicine to help hospitals, including the Congolese National Police Hospital, cope with the growing number of patients.
The ICRC also checks whether medical personnel are allowed to carry out their activities without hindrance. Medical personnel, facilities and means of transport must be respected and protected, and all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that the injured and sick have safe and rapid access to appropriate care. All of this is essential in situations of violence.
In addition, the ICRC has heard reports that children have lost 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 could help.
The ICRC has been helping to protect and assist victims of armed conflicts and other violence in North Kivu since 1993. It provides support to several medical establishments that stabilize and treat people injured in the violence. The most seriously injured are transferred to Bethesda hospital in Goma, where the ICRC has set up a war surgery program.
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