One month after the eruption of the giant Nyiragongo volcano in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), serious medical consequences are being observed in the city of Goma. An influx of patients with pneumopathy is flooding the hospitals.
At Kyeshero hospital, west of Goma city, patients with respiratory symptoms are being treated. The hospital facilities are being overwhelmed however.
"The hospital has a capacity of 300 beds. But since the volcanic eruption, we have had around 900 cases. We are really facing a disaster, sick people are suffering, pregnant women are having foetal suffering, and stress" Guylain Nvuama Medical Director at the hospital told Africanews journalist.
Indeed, inside as well as outside the hospital, patients wait for treatment. Some can be seen lying on the floor in difficult conditions while a few who have been admitted at the hospital managed to receive oxygen.
"We have had enough respiratory infections, that is acute pneumonia, and we have had cases of exacerbation of asthma attack and for some patients, it has been one of chronic respiratory problems" Faustin Karuhije, an internal medicine specialist at the hospital said.
"The volcanic eruption caused stress that triggered other diseases like diabetes and other pathologies that can result from it". Karuhije explained.
To mitigate this challenge, Kyeshero Hospital was forced to create new departments and some of its wards were split into pavilions.
Some humanitarian organisations have now been called on to complement the efforts at the hospital.