Great Lakes Region - Dem Rep of Congo

Health Situation in Kisangani, DRC
16 June 2000

Source: World Health Organization

 1- General Situation

The situation is apparently calm. WHO and the other organizations working in Kisangani are implementing emergency activities to assist the population of that town. More than 400,000 inhabitants have suffered due to the confrontation between the Rwandan and Ugandan troops, which erupted on June 5. Around 70% of the housing and infrastructure - including hospitals, clinics, schools, water and sewage system - were destroyed.

 2 – Humanitarian Situation

According to OCHA, this conflict has resulted in the displacement of 85,000 people with about 2000 wounded and 1000 people killed. The UN agencies are coping with the situation according to their resources.

 3 – Health Situation

Urgent health needs assessments have been carried out by WHO Sub-Office. The WHO Representative in Kinshasa personally went to Kisangani to lead the health team, comprising of 1 international staff and 9 nationals. The WHO Sub-Office is equipped to implement early warning and surveillance actions. Given the break down of the water and sanitation system, the number of cases of diarrhoea is increasing, producing a critical situation of possible outbreak of cholera. Aiming at improving intelligence and response to epidemics, WHO is sending 7 kits for cholera: 5 with equipment and infusions, and 2 for diagnosis. The immunization programme is jeopardized by the unfeasibility of implementing the National Immunization Days (NIDs) and the recent destruction of 180,000 doses of polio and 200,000 of Measles. UNICEF has provided Tetanus vaccines for the wounded in hospitals. ICRC is providing resources to cope with the destruction of the main hospital and the danger of unexploded ordnance. MSF/B distributed primary health kits .

The lack of food can result in malnutrition and famine. Malnutrition increases the vulnerability to communicable diseases and related mortality, especially mortality due to measles, diarrhoea diseases and malaria.

Numerous infectious diseases have already been identified as the major concern in DRC: cholera, Malaria, haemorrhagic fever, Yellow fever, Cerebro-spinal meningitis, measles, poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus, Bloody diarrhoea, monkey pox, plague, clinical AIDS, rabies.

4 - WHO urgent Plan of Action and budget for the Kisangani Crisis




1. Assessment. Continuous follow up of the health situation in the region


2. Coordination. Harmonize and synergize public health interventions with other partners in health.


3. Surveillance. Collecting, analysing and managing health information to prevent and mitigate health problems. Intelligence and advocacy.


4. Public health interventions. Actions for control of outbreaks, reproductive health, quality control of water and nutritional status, assistance to injuries at the Kisangani’s Hospital.


Project management and reporting




PSC at 6%





Pier Paolo Balladelli, Medical Officer
World Health Organization
EHA - Office 7012
20, Avenue Appia
Geneva - CH 12-11
dir.telephone: (+41-22) 791 3748 fax: 791 4844
mob.telephone: (+41-79) 2493526