The St Matthieu health centre was built in 2002 to respond to the needs of people living in a poorer part of Bukavu city.
The most essential maternal and child health needs were not being met, with women having to walk far for care to hospitals that were too expensive. Primary health care needs were not being met.
As Bukavu City continues to grow exponentially (perhaps 2 million people), the poor are increasingly being priced out, unable to pay rent even in the most basic of accommodation.
There’s a great team at the St Matthieu Health Centre.
John Muka is the senior nurse who has overseen much of the developments, and himself is able to do everything from consultations to deliveries to tooth extractions! He was trained in the nursing school in Boga region just as the war was starting.
Dr Denise came to the centre in 2011 and under her leadership the centre has continued to flourish, with many more clients using the services. She started operating in the maternity in 2012 so that mothers wouldn’t need to be transferred for caesarian sections and for maternal complications.
Naomi is the midwife in charge of the maternity.
Mama Beni is a woman on the health committee. Her young boy, Benedict, was born just as the new maternity opened, and so the centre has been named Maternité Mama Beni after her (but the double meaning in French would translate in English as the “Blessed Mother Maternity”).
We are supporting a team of very dedicated nurses and Doctor Denise to provide quality primary health care – including a safe place for women to deliver their babies.
The local community built the health centre with the help of St Matthews church, Oxford. In 2009, the new maternity was built by the local committee with the support of a friend of Semiliki. Continued support for the Bukavu medical coordination enables the centre to receive some drugs and to be regularly supported.
We would like to help St Matthieu to become a referral health centre.
The needs are many, but include new buildings (an operating theatre, in-patient block, lab), building improvements (for plastering, painting, maintenance), much equipment (ultrasound, surgical equipment, beds, mattresses, equipment for quality nursing care).
Stocks of drugs are always needed to help the centre self-finance. The area around the health centre badly needs paving as much of Bukavu town turns into half-meter deep mud in the rainy season making access only possible in bare feet or wellies.
A wall is needed to be built around the centre as there are significant security concerns.
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