Kindi Hospital. DR Congo. A doctor for 100km around
Speaking from the ground. Congo
We share a letter from our missionaries Luisina Crespo and Franco Torres cmf, from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Because long before and more than the Coronavirus, the universal is the Mission.
Kingandu, DR Congo. April 8, 2020
Dear family and friends of the province: thank you for giving us the opportunity to share with you how we are living in the DRC, this difficult time for our brother peoples. As you know, in this beautiful and great country there were already enormous challenges in the field of health, most of the time linked to the vulnerability of an impoverished population. We are still unable to adequately deal with the measles epidemic, malaria, Ebola which is always there threatening to return and suddenly we are joined by Covid 19.
On 10 March the first case was detected, foreign, and a week later the local cases were confirmed. We are saddened by this situation and are even more concerned for several reasons:
First of all, as is the case with all the poor people in the world who live from day to day, the majority of the Congolese population does not have the material means to take the necessary precautionary measures and prevent this disease adequately. Here, it is usual to consume what one buys in a day (in the supply markets where the concentration of the population is very high) and often only the money that one earns in a day is available.
On the other hand, compliance with the most basic hygiene standards such as frequent hand washing and disinfection of facilities is not within the reach of a village today, most of which does not have, for example, running water in its house. These conditions expose a country of 80 million people to exponential spread in a short time if it reaches the most popular sectors of the big cities and the rural area.
Beyond the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Health, necessary measures such as quarantine accompanied by comprehensive assistance from the State, capable of ensuring the population the basic goods and services to remain in their homes, have not yet been implemented.
Finally, the complexity of this situation is compounded by the alarming possibility of testing vaccines against covid-19 right here in the DRC. The declarations of Prof. Muyembe, in charge of the response plan to Covid-19 in the DR Congo, openly express that there are large institutions in the international arena focused on the search for a vaccine in response to the pandemic and that in this research “we (the Congolese people) have also been chosen to carry out the trials. So the vaccine will be produced either in Canada, the United States or China. We are candidates here for the trials. A curious choice which, given the terrible history of manipulation of the African population in the field of scientific experimentation, can only arouse uncertainty and exacerbate existing anguish.
As a missionary community committed to the defence of the rights of peoples, we want to be attentive to every situation of vulnerability and to denounce procedures that do not respond to the principles and bioethical criteria that safeguard the life, integrity and dignity of every person equally.
As Claret, we want to be attentive every day to what this changing reality is asking of us as a loving response from the God of Jesus to His people.
We send you a big and loving embrace.
Luisina y Franco
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)