DR Congo: Johanniter are ending their activities in the Masisi region
After 14 years, the Johanniter are ending their activities in Masisi, located in the province of North Kivu. Yesterday, the closing ceremony took place.
Johanniter started their project activities in Masisi, a region 80 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital Goma, in 2008. The focus lay on ensuring medical care. "Due to recurring violence by different rebel groups and the military, the population in the region had to flee again and again. Crops could not be harvested and the sowing in the spring could not be carried out. As a result, people live in great poverty and under difficult conditions," says Melanie Plöger, country office manager of the Johanniter in Congo.
With their health projects, the Johanniter have provided medical assistance to the people. In the last four years alone, we have renovated or built 21 health stations in the region and equipped them with medical supplies. Salaries for staff were paid, medicines and running costs for the operation of the facilities were covered, thus ensuring free medical care for hundreds of thousands of Congolese.
In addition, two central pharmacies were set up for the region to ensure the supply of medicines for all health facilities.
Handover to the local authorities
Yesterday, in a festive closing ceremony, the Johanniter handed the responsibility for the health care structures, that they supported so far, over to the local authorities and the Ministry of Health. During the event, medications were donated to nine health facilities. These will once again ensure medical care for the population for another three months.
In her speech, Melanie Plöger expressed her gratitude on behalf of Johanniter for the long-standing support of the local authorities and the Ministry of Health, as well as the civil society for their acceptance, cooperation and support.
"However, a special thanks goes above all to the German government, which has supported our activities in recent years with around eight million euros. Thanks to this financial support, it has been possible to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates in the supported villages," Plöger is pleased to say.
The local authorities and the Ministry of Health thanked Johanniter for their long-standing commitment and, above all, for the extensive investments in the health care system, which will be maintained for the population even after Johanniter's withdrawal. They promised to continue to take careful care of the facilities and equipment in the future. At the same time, they hope that the Johanniter will continue to be active as "ambassadors for the Masisi region and the needs of the population."