The Kitokimosi health centre in Kinshasa, DRC
Anglo American and NGO World Vision have recently completed the refurbishment of a health centre in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in an effort to improve conditions for pregnant women and their babies.
Through our representative office in Kinshasa and the Anglo American Group Foundation, we have been working in partnership with World Vision and local government to help tackle the pressing issue of maternal and infant mortality rates in the DRC.
The Kitokimosi health centre, situated in the Selembao district of Kinshasa – one of the poorest areas in the capital – is focused on pre-natal, delivery and post natal care. Its refurbishment has included structural repairs to the roof, ceilings, doors and the laboratory; the installation of water tanks to capture rain water; and the provisioning of hospital beds and medical equipment. All of which will go towards improving overall care for patients and making a real and positive difference.
"It was deeply touching to experience the genuine gratitude of the clinic staff, the patients, the governor of Selembao, and the provincial health minister," said Thierry Viengele, Head of Representation in our DRC office, following the inauguration of the centre. "We intend to remain involved with the health centre and to work closely with them to further support their needs."
In the DRC, the maternal mortality rate is estimated at 549 deaths for every 100,000 live births. This means that 15,000 mothers are dying every year during pregnancy, delivery or after delivery (which equates to almost two women per hour), and places the DRC amongst six countries accountable for about 50% of global maternal mortality.
In addition, under-five mortality is increasingly concentrated: 50% of deaths occur in only five countries, of which the DRC is one. The overall risk of mortality in the DRC for children under five is 148 out of 1,000 live births, or roughly one-in-seven.
John MacKenzie, CEO of our Copper business, said: “This will make a massive difference to the lives of the people who live in Selembao, and I have no doubt will be responsible for saving the lives of many mothers and children. During my visit to the health clinic last year I was particularly shocked by the lack of running water, and the impact that caused on the ability of the doctors and nurses to maintain sanitary conditions – it is really pleasing to see that this too has been addressed."
Although Anglo American does not currently operate any mines in the DRC, we have exploration activities there and the refurbishment of the Kitokimosi health centre demonstrates our long-term commitment to the country and our desire to collaborate with local government and communities to become the partner of choice.