Hervé Ladsous, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping, visited HEAL Africa on January 27, 2012, as part of his official visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
During this visit, the French diplomat gained a better idea of the work carried out by HEAL Africa and their partners to support sexual violence survivors in Eastern Congo. Since 2003, HEAL Africa has offered medical support to sexual violence survivors in the North Kivu province. Rape remains a major issue in Eastern Congo. In 2011, HEAL Africa supported 15,144 sexual violence survivors in North Kivu and Maniema, allowing these survivors to reclaim their lives.
Dr. Bienvenu Kayumba Kamanga, the medical practitioner in charge of caring for sexual violence survivors at the HEAL Africa hospital, highlighted the 15% increase of rape cases in January 2012 alone:
“Since 1st January, we have registered 70 raped women already, whereas the 2011 average monthly figure was usually 55-60 cases. 15 of these women were victims of a mass rape in the Masisi territory, perpetrated by armed groups during a conflict between farmers and ranchers and were brought to HEAL Africa hospital on 2 and 3 January,” the doctor explained.
HEAL Africa teams also provide psychosocial help, legal support, and economic and social reintegration for sexual violence survivors.