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Cordaid NL
Health care Democratic Republic of the Congo

Follow the Pill: Fighting HIV and Tuberculosis in DR Congo

“Thanks to this pill, I am alive”, Rose Bomboso says, while taking her ARV medication. Rose lives in an isolated village up north in DR Congo. She is one of many thousands of HIV/AIDS and TB patients in DRC that receive treatment thanks to Cordaid, our local partners, the DRC Ministry of Health and generous support of the Global Fund. Follow the Pill shows you what it takes to get the medication where it is needed most.

Since 2012 Cordaid has been the principal recipient of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In close collaboration with the DRC Ministry of Health, Cordaid fights HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in 65% of all health zones of DRCs vast territory.

Supporting more than 3500 health facilities

We do this by transporting 667 tons of medicines annually and providing other forms of support to more than 3500 health facilities. Even in the most remote and conflict-affected areas. Transport takes place by air, by car, motorbike and, in the end, to reach the last mile, also by bicycle and by foot.

“Together we are able to stop the scourge of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.”

Dr Bambako of Lomboko health center

This work is badly needed. Only 40% of people living with HIV in DR Congo have access to treatment. Yet for all of them, treatment and medication are matters of survival.

Medicine stocks in times of conflict

In different parts of DRC, armed conflict regularly puts ARV drug supply at risk. This is why, at all times, the Global Fund program aims to assure a 3 months stock of medicines in the health centers. “But medication is not enough”, says Dr Christian Bambako of the Lomboko health center in the village of Yangambi. “Consultations, follow up of patients and the prevention of diseases and infection is just as essential”, he continues. Dr Bambako, just like the other health centers involved in the Global Fund program, closely involves the communities in their health zones. Breaking taboos that still cling to HIV, countering discrimination against people living with HIV, preventing infections and getting people tested is what they do in villages and urban areas. “Together we are able to stop the scourge of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis”, Dr Bambako concludes.

“Do like me and you will live too”

This is what thousands of health centers and their surrounding communities in DR Congo do. Day in day out, in dire circumstances and with few resources. We are grateful to support them. Because, like Rosette says when she addresses all HIV patients in her country: “Today, I am fit and strong. If you love life, you do like me and get your medication and treatment. And you too will live.”

Rose Bomboso, mother of 7 children. Yangambi village, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2018 (© Cordaid)

By 2020 we are committed to

  • enrol 95% of TB and HIV co-infected patients on ARV drugs;
  • ensure HIV testing of 90% of TB patients;
  • maintain treatment success rates for confirmed cases of at least 90%
  • reduce the impact of human rights violations related to HIV

Read more

This is the story of Clarisse Mawaki, who runs a community care centre for people living with HIV in one of the poorest quarters of Kinshasa (also supported by Cordaid through the Global Fund).

Go to Cordaid’s Healthcare page.

Or go to our DR Congo Country Page.