Democratic Republic of Congo

As violence and political instability continue to plague the DRC, rural mobile clinics remain a lifeline for suffering women who cannot travel to a hospital.

Why We Work in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Political upheaval and violent unrest have taken a heavy toll on DRC’s healthcare infrastructure. There is also a horrifying use of sexual violence in the country. For these reasons and others, DRC has been called “the worst place on earth to be a woman.”

Over half of the Congolese population lives in rural areas, where health resources are spread thin—and in high demand. Even simply getting to the hospital can be close to impossible, with dirt roads that are completely flooded and impassable for months on end.

All of these factors play a role in the DRC’s high incidence of obstetric fistula, and there is consistently more demand for fistula treatment than local hospitals can keep up with. As a result, there is a long backlog of Congolese women waiting for treatment.

What You Help Us Do

We are investing in the following areas to build DRC’s in-country medical services and provide life-transforming surgery to as many women as possible:

Meet Our Partners

We identify local surgical teams in DRC already successfully treating women with fistula—and then work to amplify their efforts. 

What projects are we currently funding?

Who are our current partners?

  • Artemedis
    • Location: Luebo, Kisangani, Lubumbashi, and Tshikaji
    • Partner Since: 2019
  • Fistula Program DRC (FisPro DRC) 
    • Location: Kinshasa, Butembo
    • Partner Since: 2020
  • HEAL Africa
    • Location: Goma and Outreach Missions
    • Partner Since: 2011
  • Panzi Hospital 
    • Location: Bukavu and Outreach Missions
    • Partner Since: 2009
  • Rwankole Hospital
    • Location: Bunia
    • Partner Since: 2021
Who are our past partners?

Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA International)

  • Location: Lubumbashi, Kalemie, Kananga, Luebo, and Tshikaji
  • Partner In: 2016 – 2018
How much funding have we granted?

Below are funding totals since the start of each partnership.

Current Partners

  • Artemedis: $563,500
  • Fistula Program DRC (FisPro DRC): $50,000
  • HEAL Africa: $1,840,588
  • Panzi Hospital: $3,371,210
  • Rwankole Hospital: $55,000

Past Partners

  • Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA International): $615,875

News from the Field

Surgeon Spotlight: Meet Dr. Lucien Wasingya Kasereka  •  April 06, 2021
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We are thrilled to welcome a new surgical team to our network of partners across Africa and Asia: Dr. Lucien Wasingya Kasereka from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After...
We are thrilled to welcome a new surgical team to our network of partners across Africa and Asia: Dr. Lucien Wasingya Kasereka from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). After seven years of working in Uganda, Dr. Lucien Wasingya Kasereka felt compelled to return to his home country in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Dr. Lucien grew up in North Kivu, a tumultuous region in northeastern DRC. “The horrors of war and violence have been permanent for over 18 years now, which has significantly affected maternal and child health,” he explained. “Our vision is to restore the fistula victims’ dignity in DRC after a long period of political instability.”   “The day I first met a fistula patient [was] the day I decided to learn how to repair fistula, and continue doing it for the rest of my life. That’s the day I dedicated my entire life to fistula patients.” – Dr. Lucien Wasingya Kasereka from DRC   This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 edition of our newsletter, Transformations.
“The Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman”  •  March 01, 2019
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Violence and political instability continue to plague the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), effectively crippling its limited maternal healthcare infrastructure and abandoning women who are suffering with fistula. These grinding...
Violence and political instability continue to plague the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), effectively crippling its limited maternal healthcare infrastructure and abandoning women who are suffering with fistula. These grinding conditions prompted author and humanitarian Lisa Shannon to call it “the worst place on earth to be a woman.”
2018 Nobel Prize Winners Risk to Make the World Better for Victims of Sexual Violence  •  December 06, 2018
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Dr. Denis Mukwege, partner of Fistula Foundation, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. CEO Kate Grant, a longtime friend and colleague of Dr. Denis Mukwege, paid tribute to the...
Dr. Denis Mukwege, partner of Fistula Foundation, was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. CEO Kate Grant, a longtime friend and colleague of Dr. Denis Mukwege, paid tribute to the extraordinary physician in an email to Good News Network. View the full article below. 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Winners Risk Their Lives to Make the World Better for Victims of Sexual Violence The Nobel Committee has awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war amidst armed conflict. The laureates have "made a crucial contribution to focusing attention" on the problem by not only combatting the crime, but, healing the victims. Nadia Murad is herself a victim of war crimes.

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