Civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo caused more then 4 millions of fatalities since 1998. Still today there are assaults by armed groups against the population particularly near the frontier in the eastern part of the country.
Already since 1996 Malteser International assists in the restless regions Ituri and South-Kivu around 300 health centres. Together with local health authorities we provide medical care for more then 2 million people, run vaccination campaigns and take care of HIV/AIDS infected men and women. During the implementation of programs in 2003 Malteser International got aware of a very high number of women and girls who became victims of sexual aggression throughout the war.
Thats why in addition to basic medical care and food security Malteser International in cooperation with the local health authorities started a particular program to provide psycho-social assistance to the numerous women and girls who were brutalized in the war (VAS: victimes daggression sexuelle). In cooperation with local NGOs particular trainings are offered in order to sensitise staff on the issue. Still many women remain silent because they fear discrimination. Next to the work in the centres skilled counsellors seek for victims in the villages, advise and encourage them to look for treatment. Many of the counsellors have been victims themselves and use their own experience to help others.
During 2005 more then 10,000 mistreated girls and women looked for medical and psycho-social aid in the health centres supported by Malteser International. Concerning 2006 the amount of patients is anticipated to rise even higher.
In order to permanently accompany and look after the most traumatised victims in a long-term Malteser International, since September 2007, supports a trauma-centre in South Kivu. In this centre, the staff is especially trained and experienced in traumata. The victims coming there are professionally treated by psychologists, psychiatrists and neurologists.
|Duration:||2003 to 2009|
|Financing:||Malteser International, ECHO (Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission)|
|Partner:||Local health authority|