Shungu Memorial Health Center, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Shungu Memorial Health Center is a small United Methodist clinic located in an impoverished neighborhood of Kamina, in the North Katanga Annual Conference, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Shungu Clinic began as a simple medical dispensary in 1971 that focused on providing basic primary health care for the local population. At the request of the Ministry of Health in 1983, the dispensary was integrated into the national health care system and categorized as a health center, proving curative, preventive and educational activities, with a particular focus on infant and maternal health.
The Center boasts two medical doctors, including United Methodist missionary Dr. Guy Kasanka, 11 nurses, two lab technicians and one maintenance person. Even though the Congolese government operates a large referral hospital in Kamina, Shungu Memorial Health Center has a reputation for providing a high quality of care and open doors at an affordable price for the surrounding and most needy of the population.
A maternity and an operating wards were added to Shungu Memorial Health Center in 2006. Today Shungu Center has grown to provide outpatient general internal medicine consultations, immunization services for children under the age of five years and ante- and post- natal care for new mothers. The center has 30 inpatient beds. Hospital services include the following:
- Primary health care
- HIV/AIDS (voluntary counseling and testing only)
Community Health Workers Participate in Global Initiatives
The Shungu Memorial Health Center has trained 25 community health workers who volunteer their time to educate others and spread the word about preventative health care in rural areas within and beyond Kamina where people do not have easy access to a hospital or clinic. They work to halt the development of preventative diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses where immunizations are available before the need for a hospital or doctor arises.
In response to the United Methodist Church’s Global Health Initiative and focus on malaria, Shungu Center community health workers are being trained on malaria prevention tactics, such as the distribution and education on the use of insecticide treated mosquito nets and environmental clean-up strategies to minimize the breeding and presence of mosquitoes.
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 Shungu Memorial Health Center, contact UMCOR Health.