Photo: A man displaced by recent fighting around Goma in eastern DRC. DRC 2012 © Sven Torfinn
With Goma As A Flashpoint, Entire Eastern DRC Faces Critical Humanitarian Crisis
An already fragile humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has deteriorated further after the border city of Goma fell to the rebel group known as M23 last week, hundreds of people were injured, and thousands more were displaced from their homes.
Teams from MSF rapidly established additional emergency response activities in the area, treating victims of violence and providing assistance to newly displaced people in and around Goma.
Treating Victims of Violence
Since the end of last week, an MSF surgeon and anesthetist have been working in Virunga hospital in Goma, where 60 patients have been admitted with war-related injuries. They are performing approximately 10 surgical interventions per day. Eleven people have been discharged already.
“Health structures in Goma were not prepared to receive such a high number of wounded,” said MSF surgeon Jacky Bonnan. “Before MSF came to Virunga hospital, the hospital’s surgical team worked around the clock for 48 hours to stabilize patients despite a lack of resources. They did an amazing job.”
Although Goma is calm for the moment, fighting continues elsewhere in the province. Medical teams at Masisi general hospital treated 21 people shot on Sunday during fierce fighting in and around the town; 7 patients required emergency surgery. In Mweso hospital, doctors treated 27 war wounded after fighting between the Congolese army and various armed militias.