Medicos Sin Fronteras-Espana (MSF) has reduced its activities in Nyunzu Territory, in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo's Katanga Province, because of the poor care local medical staffs are providing patients, the head of the NGO's mission in the provincial town of Lubumbashi has said.
The official, Cameno Diego, said on Monday from Lubumbashi that MSF had started reducing support to 14 of the 17 health centres in Nyunzu and would, by the end of March, halt medical drug deliveries in all but the three hospitals in the northern, southern and western parts of the territory.
This, he said, would enable the health centres to recover health delivery costs and be self-financing. He said MSF had decided to end its aid to most of the health centres because poorly trained medical staff had been misdiagnosing and administering wrong medicines and at incorrect doses to patients, thereby putting lives at risk.
"For example, staff would diagnose and treat a patient with a cold for malaria," he said.
Staff also failed to keep accurate records of the number of patients provided care.
The curtailment of MSF's drug deliveries will mean that Nyunzu residents will have to travel from remote parts of the territory to seek care at these three hospitals. Diego said the distance was not so much the problem as was the near non-existent roads.
"It takes two hours for a vehicle to travel thirty kilometres," he said.
MSF had been providing primary health in the territory mostly against malaria, respiratory infectious diseases and diarrhoea. The NGO had also been providing surgery, birth delivery and drugs to fight cholera.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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