République démocratique du Congo Photo : Éric St-Pierre/Oxfam-Québec

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Investing in women’s and children’s health to reduce poverty and inequality

This major project is the largest ever carried out by Oxfam-Québec, both in terms of size as well as human and financial resources. By joining as a partner, you will have a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of women and children.

Through your contribution, you will ensure that more babies are born healthy into our world—a world which also belongs to them. Offer them a chance to discover it. They need you today.

Context and rationale for the project

Having undergone more than 20 years of conflict, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 87.7% of the population living below the poverty line. Women and children are especially vulnerable.

One child out of ten will not see the age of five and one woman out of 24 will die of maternal causes. Yet, these deaths can be prevented through simple prevention methods or inexpensive treatments.

Oxfam-Québec has been working in the DRC since 1984. Through the years, our organization has actively worked in water supply and management, health, skills development, women’s entrepreneurship and support to survivors of sexual violence.

Project implementation

By 2020, in the targeted provinces, Oxfam-Québec will support 215 maternity hospitals, 20 of which will be equipped with delivery beds, electricity and water to allow women to give birth and receive treatment under decent conditions. Fifty health centres will be replenished with medicine and medical supplies.

The pregnancies that most often result in death are typically those that are unmonitored, occur too close together, and are carried out by women who are either too young or too old. Thanks to training and dialogue spaces, women, men and youth will become more knowledgeable about reducing pregnancy-related risks and preventing childhood illnesses. In turn, this will encourage better health protection overall.

Health workers will undergo specialized training in emergency obstetric care and childhood diseases, in order to intervene more effectively and provide better care. As a result, they will be able to train other health care workers, nurses and doctors in even the most distant regions.

Increased access to proper health services, such as prenatal visits and physician-supervised hospital deliveries, results in lower mortality rates for both mothers and children.

In addition, newborns and children under five who receive prompt and adapted health care have much higher survival rates.

By working together with Congolese organizations that are well-established on the ground, we will ensure that nearly 70% of all births are monitored and assisted by professionals. Indirectly, this project will reach 1.4 million people.

 Objectives and expected results

  •  890,000 Congolese women and men reached directly
  • 15 health zones targeted
  • 50 health centres replenished with medicine and medical supplies
  • 20 maternity hospitals refurbished and equipped with delivery beds, electricity and water
  • 215 maternity hospitals and health centres supported in total
  • 1,000 community health workers benefiting from a range of services
  • 135,000 newborns and children under five cared for
  • 800 health professionals trained
  • 100,000 male spouses reached through awareness-raising activities
  • Sustainable strengthening of the health care system
  • Fewer adolescent pregnancies, more young girls in school
  • Spaces for dialogue created between women, youth and health authorities