Original article here.
Two Part Report about Coronavirus in DRC-Kinshasa as at Monday, April 27, 2020
(English version for RAPAR)
Part 1 459 People infected – 381 People in care – 50 People healed – 28 People dead
Since the Coronavirus pandemic emerged in the DRC, a lot of effort has been made by the response team to try to control it. For three days, the figures have been growing sharply, enough to suggest that what Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe – Secretary of the response committee – feared, is coming to pass: the month of May could be one of great danger.
On March 24, 2020, the Head of State declared a state of health emergency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Immediately, teams from the Ministry of Health were deployed on the ground to quarantine Kinshasa, erecting barriers in Kasangulu, Mitendi (Kongo Central) and Mongata on the border of the provinces of Kwango, Kwilu, Maindombe and Kasaï Central, to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
44 health workers, including a team leader, were deployed to Ngobila beach for a period of 30 days: 21/03 to 20/04/2020;
60 health workers, including a team leader, deployed at N’Djili airport for a period of 30 days: 21/03 to 20/04/2020;
44 health workers, including a team leader, a data manager, a supervised worker, a driver and health officers deployed for a period of 15 days: 06/04 to 20/04/2020.
Buses have been made available. However, once the teams arrived at the various areas, no provision was made for their return and their care.
The agents are abandoned at the areas without accommodation or mission costs.
Today, day for day, it has been a month since the agents benefited either from the mission expenses, or from accommodation (they spend the night under the stars), but the Ministry of Health reports them as deployed on the ground and as part of the fight against the spread of Coronavirus. The agents are put in a position of not being able to produce a good result.
There is, for example, a lack of materials for disinfection, the rupture of travelers’ registration forms, inventory shortage of liquid soap, pens, nose pads (masks), gloves, chlorine (bleach) for disinfection, fuels for the generator, water for washing hands and ruptured batteries to power the thermo flashes.
In short, the agents are abandoned. How can it be then, that such agents be relied on to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
“Today, we are starting the second month and families are abandoned without means of food. Agents who are now sick ground are not being supported. Likewise for those recently deployed to the Gombe commune, complains an agent of the Ministry of Health deployed to Mongata.
There is terrible unease and many of them are announcing a work stoppage soon if conditions are not improved.
Part 2 Deplorable conditions of detention in prisons in the DRC
The Congolese NGO “Bill Clinton Peace Foundation” is sounding the alarm, denouncing the conditions of detention, notably in Makala prison in Kinshasa. The “Bill Clinton Peace Foundation” denounces the lack of food and adequate medical care which is said to have been the cause of the deaths of at least 17 prisoners there have died in Makala central prison in Kinshasa. This Makala prison hosts more than eight thousand detainees, 94% of whom are still awaiting trial.
Our correspondent on the spot who cites prison sources reports that, for two months, Makala has not received its endowment in food rations intended for the imprisoned.
According to this source, the prison is overcrowded, with more than 500 prisoners in particular in the establishment. The conditions of detention are so bad that the NGOs estimate that 100 or so people are seriously ill.
The Deputy Minister of Justice has declared to the local media that funds have been released to deal with the situation. He has promised to gradually mobilize more money to address the lack of food and medicine for the residents of Kinshasa central prison.
These reports are by Jenny DAKOSTA VAN MPUTU is the Directeur Exécutif National, Human Rights Activist-Founder and National Executive Director of ‘No Impunity for the Congolese State’ (NICS) based: C/O RAPAR. 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS.
Phone: 00447405082590 / 00447490875889