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A rewarding partnership for the fight against COVID-19: DNT Foundation - UNFPA- - Canada - Ministry of Health

The Foundation of the Distinguished First Lady, Madame Denise NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI in partnership with UNFPA handed over to the Multisectoral Committee for the Fight against COVID-19 two mobile clinics, a large consignment of reproductive health kits and dignity kits thanks to funding from Canada.

This support, worth US $ 224,000, aims to improve sexual and reproductive health rights and choices in the fight against this pandemic.

It was during a sober ceremony and in the presence of the Minister of Health, the Ambassador of Canada and the Representative of WHO that the Representative of UNFPA and the Distinguished First Lady handed over the keys of two mobile clinics and equipment to the National Technical Coordination Committee for the fight against COVID-19 through the Minister of Health.

Handing over the keys of the mobile clinics to the First Lady of the DRC by the Representative of UNFPA, Dr SENNEN HOUNTON

The distinguished First Lady, Madame Denise NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI visibly satisfied appreciated the partnership with UNFPA in these terms: "I thank our trusted partner UNFPA".

This support consists of:

  1. 2 two air-conditioned multifunctional mobile clinics (ambulances) for:
  • monitoring of COVID-19 contacts
  • monitoring of asymptomatic positive COVID-19 persons
  • linkages between centers of care for COVID-19 patients                                                                                                                  
  • evacuation of patients
  • transportation of laboratory specimens and / or home care
  1. hygienic individual delivery kits for the care of pregnant women who are COVID-19 positive
  2. kits for responding to rape during this period of confinement and quarantine with an upsurge in intimate partner violence, domestic violence and an increased risk of sexual violence
  3. Dignity kits composed of various items for intimate personal hygiene of women to enable them to live their womanhood without constraint during these times of confinement and limitation of movements.

Minister of Health, Dr ETENI LONGONDO surrounded by the other partners

The Ambassador of Canada, Mr. Nicolas SIMARD, emphasized the importance of partnerships to overcome this scourge: “Through multilateral funding, we can have very concrete actions that have a lot of impact to help Congolese populations and also to help women get through this period which can be difficult for them. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am very happy to be here with the distinguished First Lady, His Excellency the Minister of Health, the Representative of UNFPA, the Representative of WHO to truly demonstrate concrete gestures of collaboration and support to help the Congolese population overcome this ordeal”.

The DRC has enormous needs to respond to COVID-19 and this support from UNFPA comes at the right time to help the implementation of national response plan. The Minister of Health, Dr Eteni LONGONDO, one of the beneficiaries of this partnership, expresses his satisfaction in these terms: “We did not have ambulances and the patients are there; they need to be treated, they need to be moved from one hospital to another for proper care. These ambulances came at the right time, when we needed them most to facilitate the mobility of our patients and staff.”

As of April 5, 2020, the country has registered 161 cases of COVID-19. The escalating pandemic is of concern to authorities, who have taken numerous steps to stop its spread.

UNFPA is engaged in the fight against COVID-19 alongside the Ministry of Health, WHO and all stakeholders

within the framework of implementation of the national response plan

through 4 pillars namely;

  • prevention, infection control and biosecurity,
  • psychosocial care,
  • risk communication, community engagement and logistics
  • laboratory and research to better understand the impact of coronavirus on pregnancy and the influence of pregnancy on COVID-19.

While remaining focused on its three transformative results, (zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence) in order to ensure that barrier measures are adopted by the population and that pregnant women, young girls and boys as well as nursing staff are protected from COVID19.

In addition to these actions, UNFPA in partnership with WHO and the Ministry of Health and Oxfam are preparing to strengthen prevention and control of infection in 50 maternities to protect midwives and other health workers who receive pregnant, lactating women, adolescents and young people for sexual and reproductive health needs.