The North Katanga Conference is helping improve health care in Kamina, with support from the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit.
Conference executives, who were in the area at the end of last year to review 2017 annual conference minutes, took the opportunity to equip doctors with computers, mobile phones, modems and motorbikes. Global Health provided funding for the tools to promote and improve health management in the area.
“North Katanga has 54 health facilities, and data collection will be easy now, both electronically and on paper,” said Dr. Alexis Ngoy Kasole, medical coordinator.
During the conference meeting, Dr. Kaly Kayamba Tombe shared his gratitude as he received a motorbike for the Luena health center.
“The motorbike will help me to supervise health centers around Luena and visit patients during home recovery who come as far as 70 kilometers (roughly 43 miles),” Tombe said.
He said he will use his new computer daily to register patients for the center’s records, and the tools will contribute to improvements in patient health.
He noted that Luena is located near the Congo River and the population suffers from cholera every year. Data about cholera victims now will be easier to record, he said. The mobile phones also will help nurses collect data and register patients, as well as send reminders once patients return home.
“When patients come to the health facility, especially pregnant women after prenatal care, every evening, especially in rainy season, alert messages will be sent to them on the use of bed (mosquito) nets,” Tombe said, noting that women in the community oftentimes don’t make their own health care a priority.
He said the mobile phones will be especially helpful to pregnant women in remote areas around Luena.
“With the phone, community health workers will collect their numbers (so they can be contacted) to remind them to be referred to any health facility (for delivery),” he said.
Tombe thanked donors for the equipment and said it will help him contribute to good health care in the community and villages surrounding Luena.
Medical coordinator Kasole called on fellow doctors who received equipment to use it wisely and responsibly.
With these tools, he said, “Medical doctors in North Katanga are unstoppable for community health improvement.”
Musau is secretary of the Central Congo Conference and health board chair of the North Katanga Conference.