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Fighting HIV and TB in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Cordaid runs a nationwide programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

While the world is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against other infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), has never stopped.

The World Bank expects extreme poverty to rise globally for the first time in over 20 years and many HIV and TB programmes have been affected by the consequences of COVID-19, disrupting many years of progress. It has never been more important to join forces in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB.

Investing in the health of young women

In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women are more than twice as likely to acquire HIV as their male peers. The root causes of their vulnerability are gender inequality, discrimination, gender-based violence, limited access to education, and lack of tailored healthcare services.

From the peak of the HIV crisis in the late 1990s and early 2000s, annual AIDS-related deaths and new infections have been cut by half. Worldwide, of the 38 million people living with HIV, 26 million received antiretroviral therapy by June 2020. Since 2010, the number of HIV-related deaths decreased by 39% (UNAIDS).

Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dr Alain and patient Aminata Cefu talk outside at a health centre in Kinshasa which receives funding from Cordaid for TB and HIV treatment. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Paulette Sefu (27): “As a peer educator, I increase awareness about HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and marriage at a young age. I became HIV positive because of my husband, after marrying at the age of 15. I want all women, but especially those living with HIV, to be independent and protect themselves.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Juive Kopela (31): “I am a counsellor. Part of my work is informing people who are more vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, such as sex workers and members of the LGTB+ community, about how to prevent infections and what the benefits are of getting tested.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Claudine Mwetuewa (48) checks on hospitalised HIV patients. “As a chief nurse at a health centre, I take care of HIV patients by monitoring their health and hygiene needs, checking their viral charge, and making sure they eat well.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Paulette Sefu (27): “As a peer educator, I increase awareness about HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and marriage at a young age. I became HIV positive because of my husband, after marrying at the age of 15. I want all women, but especially those living with HIV, to be independent and protect themselves.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dorcas holds up male condoms at the end of a Cordaid-funded workshop which aims to improve the participant’s skills as peer educators. During the session, they learn about the various modes of transmission and HIV prevention, providing them with the skills to bring awareness to the public on HIV/AIDS to reduce rates of transmission. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Rose (left) leads a mentoring session with a group of HIV+ women at a health centre in Kinshasa. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Rose (left) leads a mentoring session with a group of HIV+ women at a health centre in Kinshasa. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A nurse tends to a hospitalised HIV+ patient at Boyambi Health Centre in Kinshasa. Cordaid funds this health centre to treat HIV and TB patients. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A nurse tends to a hospitalised HIV+ patient at Boyambi Health Centre in Kinshasa. Cordaid funds this health centre to treat HIV and TB patients. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dany Kabandani Enbeya (59) is a health worker at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Medical equipment needed to do an HIV test at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mirian Kumangu (30) does an HIV test for a patient at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mirian Kumangu (30) does an HIV test for a patient at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nabitu Sola (32) and her one-year-old son Emmanuel outside a health centre in Kinshasa. They attended a Cordaid-funded mentoring session with a group of HIV+ women. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Rose: “I was born HIV positive. Because I’ve had to live with this from a very young age, I know how hard it can be for young women. I see how they are being stigmatised by society.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Marie Paul (33) is a peer mentor. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Aminata Cefu: “I spent six months with TB without knowing what it was. When it was at its worst, I had a very high fever, difficulties moving my legs, and lost weight. If I hadn’t been ill, I would have gotten my business diploma this year. Now, I can’t wait to finish the treatment, get married, and start school again, so I can open my own shop.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lara Mwadi Mbakata (20): “When I got sick, I thought it was malaria or typhoid. I was very weak and went to local health centres for treatment. But none of them could help me because they didn’t have the right tests. A friend of the family suggested going to this health centre, as they run more types of tests than the clinics in my neighbourhood. It turned out I was infected with TB. I’m not sure if I would have survived if I hadn’t come to this clinic.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Elodie during a workshop in Kinshasa which aims to improve the participant’s skills as peer educators. During the session, they learn about the various modes of transmission and HIV prevention, providing them with the skills to bring awareness to the public on HIV/AIDS to reduce rates of transmission. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
21-year-old Patoucha after attending a mentoring session with other HIV+ women at a health centre in Kinshasa. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A nurse tends to a hospitalised HIV+ patient at Boyambi Health Centre in Kinshasa. Cordaid funds this health centre to treat HIV and TB patients. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Juive Kopela (31): “I am a counsellor. Part of my work is informing people who are more vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, such as sex workers and members of the LGTB+ community, about how to prevent infections and what the benefits are of getting tested.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Paulette Sefu (27): “As a peer educator, I increase awareness about HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and marriage at a young age.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Aminata Cefu: “I spent six months with TB without knowing what it was. When it was at its worst, I had a very high fever, difficulties moving my legs, and lost weight. If I hadn’t been ill, I would have gotten my business diploma this year. Now, I can’t wait to finish the treatment, get married, and start school again, so I can open my own shop.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dany Kabandani Enbeya (59) is a health worker at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A staff member in the waiting room at Boyambi Health Centre. Cordaid provides funding to this health centre in Kinshasa to help treat HIV and TB patients. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A patient waits in the waiting room at Boyambi Health Centre. Cordaid provides funding to this health centre in Kinshasa to help treat HIV and TB patients. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A waiting room at Boyambi Health Centre. Cordaid provides funding to this health centre in Kinshasa to help treat HIV and TB patients. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
21-year-old Patoucha after attending a mentoring session with other HIV+ women at a health centre in Kinshasa. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Women living with HIV leave the health centre after meeting for a mentoring session in Kinshasa. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lara Mwadi Mbakata (20): “When I got sick, I thought it was malaria or typhoid. I was very weak and went to local health centres for treatment. But none of them could help me because they didn’t have the right tests. A friend of the family suggested going to this health centre, as they run more types of tests than the clinics in my neighbourhood. It turned out I was infected with TB. I’m not sure if I would have survived if I hadn’t come to this clinic.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lara Mwadi Mbakata (20): “When I got sick, I thought it was malaria or typhoid. I was very weak and went to local health centres for treatment. But none of them could help me because they didn’t have the right tests. A friend of the family suggested going to this health centre, as they run more types of tests than the clinics in my neighbourhood. It turned out I was infected with TB. I’m not sure if I would have survived if I hadn’t come to this clinic.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nabitu Sola (32) and her one-year-old son Emmanuel outside a health centre in Kinshasa. They attended a Cordaid-funded mentoring session with a group of HIV+ women. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Jered participates in a Cordaid-funded workshop in Kinshasa which aims to improve the participant’s skills as peer educators. During the session, they learn about the various modes of transmission and HIV prevention, providing them with the skills to bring awareness to the public on HIV/AIDS to reduce rates of transmission. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
21-year-old Patoucha after attending a mentoring session with other HIV+ women at a health centre in Kinshasa. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Rose: “I was born HIV positive. Because I’ve had to live with this from a very young age, I know how hard it can be for young women. I see how they are being stigmatised more often by society.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nabitu Sola (32) and her one-year-old son Emmanuel outside a health centre in Kinshasa. They attended a Cordaid-funded mentoring session with a group of HIV+ women. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dr Alain at a health centre in Kinshasa which receives funding from Cordaid for TB and HIV treatment. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid Dr Alain: “Cordaid provides medication and food to people with multi-resistant TB. My role is to diagnose, treat, and follow up with the patients. Adolescent girls and young women are more vulnerable to TB for many reasons, of which poverty and a lack of food are important. Many young women don’t work and depend on their families. If you don’t eat well, your antibodies will become weak and you’ll become more vulnerable to TB and other viruses. As TB is a very contagious illness, my goal is to treat as many people as possible to reduce the spread of the disease.”
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pharmacist Grace Usasu (48) going through patient files at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Claudine Mwetuewa (48) checks on hospitalised HIV patients. “As a chief nurse at a health centre, I take care of HIV patients by monitoring their health and hygiene needs, checking their viral charge, and making sure they eat well.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Marie Paul (33) is a peer mentor. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dr Alain and patient Aminata Cefu talk outside at a health centre in Kinshasa which receives funding from Cordaid for TB and HIV treatment. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Aminata Cefu: “I spent six months with TB without knowing what it was. When it was at its worst, I had a very high fever, difficulties moving my legs, and lost weight.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Claudine Mwetuewa (48) checks on hospitalised HIV patients. “As a chief nurse at a health centre, I take care of HIV patients by monitoring their health and hygiene needs, checking their viral charge, and making sure they eat well.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Dany Kabandani Enbeya (59) is a health worker at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Paulette Sefu (27) (left): “As a peer educator, I increase awareness about HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and marriage at a young age.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Eliane holds up femidoms at the end of a Cordaid-funded workshop in Kinshasa which aims to improve the participant’s skills as peer educators. During the session, they learn about the various modes of transmission and HIV prevention, providing them with the skills to bring awareness to the public on HIV/AIDS to reduce rates of transmission. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Elanda Mukinzi Ezechiel (55) has an appointment with the pharmacist at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Medical equipment needed to do an HIV test at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mirian Kumangu (30) does an HIV test for a patient at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mirian Kumangu (30) does an HIV test for a patient at PODI, a centre which provides ongoing treatment and support for people living with HIV in Kinshasa. PODI receives funding from Cordaid. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Juive Kopela (31): “I am a counsellor. Part of my work is informing people who are more vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, such as sex workers and members of the LGTB+ community, about how to prevent infections and what the benefits are of getting tested.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nabitu Sola (32) and her one-year-old son Emmanuel outside a health centre in Kinshasa. They attended a Cordaid-funded mentoring session with a group of HIV+ women. Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid
Participants of the Cordaid and Global Fund partnership programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Rose: “I was born HIV positive. Because I’ve had to live with this from a very young age, I know how hard it can be for young women. I see how they are being stigmatised more often by society.” Image: Lisa Murray/Cordaid

Hubs to support adolescent girls and young women

Cordaid works in 24 of the 26 provinces of the DRC. We are responsible for the distribution of HIV and TB medicines and community health activities, both for prevention and to facilitate treatment.

Addressing the disproportionate impact of HIV by investing in the health and rights of vulnerable adolescent girls and young women helps them to become healthy and empowered.

Our approach is to develop hubs to support them. These hubs ensure maximum synergy between various activities and cover these four pillars:

Community
Create a change of mentality and social norms around sexual health, HIV, human rights and gender-based violence in communities.

Healthcare centres
Establish youth-friendly healthcare centres where girls have easy access without stigma or discrimination.

Education
Deliver practical rights and HIV education.

Legal Assistance
Offer legal assistance and psychosocial support to victims of gender-based violence in legal centres. The referral system will be improved.

This approach reduces gender inequality and creates a ripple effect that delivers numerous societal gains, also benefitting families and communities.

SOME OF OUR KEY RESULTS

Results & Indicators

  • 24,793 survivors of sexual violence received medication to prevent HIV infection (PEP)

  • 4,067,765 people tested for HIV

  • 198,356 people living with HIV received ARV treatment

  • 31% of screened TB cases referred to the health system by community workers

Follow the pill

Watch this video on how Cordaid is reaching tens of thousands of patients, even in the most isolated and difficult places of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose lives depend on antiretroviral treatment and support:

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Our partners

All the activities are closely coordinated with the National AIDS and Tuberculosis Programs implemented by the Ministry of Health on a national, regional, and local level.

In collaboration with 28 civil society partners, Cordaid works permanently to assure the distribution of ARV and anti-tuberculosis drugs throughout the country and supports 80% of the country’s health zones to deliver the package of HIV/AIDS and TB services.

With our partners, we work on overcoming logistical challenges due to poor road infrastructure and other difficulties. This is necessary to ensure quality treatment of HIV/AIDS and TB, make sure patients stay on treatment, and for the prevention of HIV and multidrug-resistant TB.

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