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Internal displacement, new risk to women’s health

Every morning, these women affected by the Nyiragongo volcano form a circle to be treated for free   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, coupled with the recent volcanic eruption could jeopardize women’s access to birth control and other health services in developing countries.

At least 300 women and children receive free care in this camp for displaced people in Kayembe, located in the territory of Nyiragongo in the eastern DRC.

Alice Katungu, in her thirties, came for family planning after having gone through an episode following the eruption of the volcano, fearing she wouldn't be able to tend for a child for financial reasons

"I learned that they are giving free treatment for family planning and for infection and then so I came and because life has become difficult and I don't have enough money to keep children." said Alice.

PBM (Premature Babies and Mother's Health), a national organization that initiated this project, is trying to save some lives despite limited resources.

"It is free of charge, it is really the PBM association and its partners came to the rescue of the displaced women, it is free prenatal consultations, family planning with the help of UNFPA that we offered to the women, young girls, vulnerable children at this time. The government is there and I think the department, health zones are doing their job and we are helping these existing health structures, so it's really an additional support," said Amour Zynga, director of PBM Health.

During his visit to North Kivu, President Félix Tshisekedi inaugurated on June 15 a mobile hospital dedicated to disaster victims with a capacity of 20 beds and the possibility of expansion.

The mobile hospital in Kibati is an urgent response to the health needs of over 20,000 people in 3,500 homeless households.

U.K. funding of a program run by the United Nations Population Fund, which works to improve reproductive and maternal health, was reduced from $211 million to $32 million for this year. The impact was felt almost immediately.

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