Since April 2021, the village of Bwegera in South Kivu has been hosting displaced families from the highlands and uplands of Uvira territory. The inter-ethnic conflicts there are so violent that many residents have been forced to flee their homes, leaving everything behind. Since October 2021, we have been intervening on the ground to offer assistance to the displaced population and their hosts.
The first Local Private Veterinary Services (LPVSs) were set up in Niger 20 years ago, initiated by Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium and its local partners. Since then, we have made efforts to replicate this system in the other countries where we work, with varying degrees of success. In this article, we look back at the specific features of the LPVS model, the factors that have contributed to its success and the challenges encountered in Niger with our colleague Yacouba Mahamadou, based in Niamey.
In South Kivu, as in many parts of Africa, the population suffers from understaffing and lack of capacity in health systems. Although diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans are common, doctors and vets are not used to working together or to consulting environmental specialists. Our One Health project, implemented in partnership with Médecins du Monde and Action pour le Développement des Milieux Ruraux, aims to decompartmentalise health systems to improve the management of health risks in the eastern DRC.
The Congolese people who live around the Kahuzi-Biega National Park share their homes with their livestock and go into the forest every day, where disease-carrying wild animals live. In doing so, they unwittingly expose themselves to zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, which is how pandemics such as Covid-19 begin. This observation has prompted the consortium composed of Vétérinaires Sans Frontières Belgium, Médecins du Monde and Action pour le Développement des Milieux Ruraux to develop an unprecedented One Health project to the east of this nature reserve in South Kivu.
In the night of 4 to 5 May 2023, an unprecedented flood ravaged Kalehe Territory in South Kivu, claiming more than 400 victims and destroying thousands of people’s homes. Thanks to our generous donors, we have been able to provide food aid to almost 300 people. A look back at that terrible night through the stories of three people caught up in the disaster.
Between July and September 2022, our team in Niger organised three food distributions in the south-west of the country. More than 7,500 displaced people and their host families from agropastoral communities received food aid. Djibo Mazou Boubacar, who headed the operation, answered our questions a few months later, following a satisfaction survey.