KASENYI, Democratic Republic of the Congo, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Access to basic healthcare services remains a significant challenge in towns and villages in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Financial and other support to Kasenyi Medical Center provided by Oil of DRCongo, a Fleurette Group subsidiary, have given residents of the remote Province Orientale village of Kasenyi and surrounding areas a place to turn for proper medical care.
Less than two year's ago, Kasenyi Medical Center, located on the shores of Lake Albert, struggled to treat patients with the most rudimentary illnesses. Lack of medicine, medical equipment and healthcare professionals at the then barely functioning center resulted in inadequate patient care, referrals to the war-torn town of Bunia, some 50km (30miles) away via an unmaintained and often impassable dirt road, and numerous preventable deaths.
In May 2011, Oil of DRCongo and the government of the DRC signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for oil exploration and production of Blocks I and II of the DRC side of the Albertine Graben, covering some 8,000 km2 of onshore and offshore acreage. In addition to operational, technical and environmental activities required to explore and evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of Blocks I and II, Oil of DRCongo began investing heavily in social and development activities, including at the Kasenyi Medical Center. To date, Oil of DRCongo has invested nearly US$3 million in social and development projects in the area.
The Kasenyi Medical Center used the initial contribution from Oil of DRCongo to repair and upgrade its medical buildings, purchase an ambulance and new medical equipment, including a fully outfitted operating theater, hire new staff and stock its pharmacy's previously empty shelves. An Oil of DRCongo monthly contribution of $US 6,000 helps the center, which now treats 1,000 people per month, defray operating costs.
"Providing proper medical care to the population of Kasenyi, which is still recovering from years of conflict and insufficient development, has never been easy," acknowledged Dr. Aime Tibamwenda Mukama, Co-director of Kasenyi Medical Center. "In remote areas like this, the population suffers and dies from malaria, cholera, tuberculosis and other treatable diseases. Support from Oil of DRCongo has enabled us to reduce the number of such deaths, including among infants, perform major surgeries, and generally improve the health of the population."
"In its capacity as operator of Blocks I and II, Oil of DRCongo has far exceeded its contractual obligations for social projects," said Dan Gertler, Senior Advisor to Fleurette Group. "We will continue to work closely with provincial officials and community and traditional leaders to further contribute to social and community development in the area."
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