Pigmie woman asleep in her home
Thank you for helping the Pigmies who are the poorest and most disadvantaged people in DR Congo. The life of a Pigmie woman is difficult, with marriage often at 13, and they are the main workers in the family, carrying heavy loads on their backs from an early age. Their home of North Kivu Province is very remote with war still a constant in their lives.
The Pigmie people are nomadic people with illiteracy at 99% as they believe school is a waste of time. Basic hygiene is non existant with 99% of births are at home.
Thank you for helping to fund the midwifery, health, hygiene and nutrition training seminar. It ran for 3 days with 100 traditional midwives from the 10 villages of Kasenyi, Bushara, Bukumu, Bugeregere, Byungo, Karubamba, Muja, Karungu, Kanyati and Mutaho in North Kivu province being the recipients.
These communities are so remote that the trainers had to travel 400 kms to Goma the venue for the seminar. The Pigmies themselves were transported up to 70 km by motor bike to the venue. This is a region that is still at war and soldiers accompanied the trainers and the women for their safety.
Dr Luc Mulimbalimba Masururu on an earlier visit had observed that hygiene was non existant, they birthed onto leaves, used sharper leaves to cut the umbilical cord or else repeatedly used a dirty blade for several deliveries, and there was no hand washing. The people sleep on leaves in rudimentary huts with dirt floors. They are lucky to have one blanket. They go for months without washing and smell offensively. They have skin diseases and infections purely from the poor personal hygiene.
The hotel they were booked into for the seminar, refused their accommodation as they were so dirty and smelly that other patrons at the venue would have left. Dr Luc fortunately found alternative accommodation at short notice.
The first day of the seminar was on hygiene and Dr Luc was thrilled when they all came the next day bathed and clean. There is no lack of water in DR Congo as there are many rivers, they just had no idea that bathing was necessary or beneficial to their health.
2000 birthing kits were made at Luvungi Hospital, DR Congo, with the contents being locally sourced and 2000 kits came from Australia. Each birth attendant left with 40 kits.
Dr Luc established midwifery clubs so the birth attendants could meet monthly to reinforce their lessons learned. It is an opportunity for fellowship and exchanging of experiences. There was so much learned at the seminar, however, being illiterate they could not read the information again, so the midwifery clubs are important reinforcement opportunities.
The seminar was so successful that Dr Luc is looking at holding another one next year.
Pigmies receiving birthing kits from Dr Luc