Nyembo Umpungu Health Center
Nyembo Umpungu is an isolated mission station and village in Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The village is a nine hour drive from the large town of Kamina, or accessible by small aircraft. The roads in the region are virtually non-existent and most local transportation is by foot, bicycle and motorbike. Further complicating matters, the dirt road is rendered useless by the ten-month rainy season in the area.
The Nyembo Umpungu Health Center was created in 1995 at the initiative of Sharon and William Crowe, former United Methodist missionaries who served in the North Katanga Annual Conference. The clinic is part of an integrated program that includes a farm and a nutrition program for local children. Nyembo Umpungu Health Center serves as a referral health post to a local population of 62,000 and the surrounding 18 villages.
Nyembo Umpungu is an extremely impoverished area. Subsistence farming is the primary source of income for most families.
Nyembo Umpungu Health Center provides primary health care and preventative services. The primary ailments seen by Dr. Ngoy Kasole Maloba and the nursing staff include malaria, respiratory infections, malnutrition and typhoid fever. The 23-bed clinic serves approximately 4000 patients a year. During certain seasons when diseases like malaria, cholera and measles are at epidemic levels, there are not enough beds to for the patients, leaving some to sleep on the ground.
The clinic also supports a cadre of volunteer community health workers, a network that supports the health center in providing health education to rural communities far from Nyembo Umpungu, as well as assists in mosquito net distribution, HIV/AIDS awareness and follow-up of Tuberculosis treatment.
The Nyembo Umpungu Health Center supports a cadre of volunteer community health workers, a network that supports the health center in providing health education to rural communities far from Nyembo Umpungu They also assist with mosquito net distribution, HIV/AIDS awareness and follow-up of Tuberculosis treatment. While the Health Center is able to provide life saving care to many thousands in its catchment, many more could be saved if the hospital had an operating room and diagnostic equipment such as an E-Ray machine and sonogram to perform basic diagnoses and procedures. The remote location of the hospital cuts it off from electric and water supply, further complicating the center’s ability to appropriately serve the people who live in the region.
How You Can Help
In such a challenging environment, the need for increased assistance is urgent. If you are interested in meeting specific needs at Nyembo Umpungu Health Center, contact UMCOR Health.