Six health centres were burnt down in the Democratic Republic of Congo resulting in the death of patients and members of the nursing staff. PSI, and its affiliate SOLSICO, call on the Government to ensure that health care workers are protected in the performance of their duties and can carry out their work in the best possible safety conditions.
Public Services International, through one of its affiliates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), SOLSICO, has learned, with regret and indignation, about the painful events that have occurred in health centres in the province of North KIVU in the Mutwanga health zone in the BENI territory and in the OICHA health zone, resulting in the death of patients and members of the nursing staff. Six health centres were burnt down: KALAU; KABALWA; LUME; MALEKI; MAMOVE and SABOKO. Ten (10) other health centres were also closed: LOULO; MAMBAU; KENEHAMBAORE; KISIMA; KALEMBO; MAMBABIO; KUKUTUMA; SAMOKO; TOTOLITO; PAIDA HOSPITAL CENTRE.
News on Congo Magna TV concerning the attacks perpetrated on PSI healthcare workers in DRC.
Attacks perpetrated on PSI healthcare workers in DRC
In the province of ITURI, it is a phenomenon of KIDNAPPING in exchange for an unaffordable ransom that is imposed on nurses to keep their lives. While these health workers are engaged in saving lives in very precarious living and working conditions, lawless armed individuals attack them by burning them alive and ransacking all the health care facilities and services in these health centres.
❖ NOTING the resurgence of these inhumane and barbaric acts orchestrated against health workers, patients and their property in the conflict zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
❖ CONSIDERING the international declaration of human rights in its article 3 which stipulates that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person" and in its article 5 which stipulates that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment";
❖ CONSIDERING the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo which in its chapter 1er dealing with civil and political rights, underlines that "the human person is sacred. The State has the obligation to respect and protect it";
❖ CONSIDERING the Nursing Personnel Convention (No. 149) and Recommendation (No. 157) made on 1 June 1977 in Geneva by the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation, recognising the essential role played by nurses in protecting and improving the health and welfare of the population; emphasising also the need for the development of health services through co-operation between governments and interested workers' and employers' organisations in order to provide the community with nursing services which meet its needs. Stressing also the need for the development of health services through cooperation between governments and interested workers' and employers' organizations in order to provide nursing services to the community in accordance with its needs;
❖ NOTING that nurses in the Democratic Republic of Congo suffer multiple and frequent violations ranging from sexual violence to killing in the course of their duties;
❖ CONSIDERING that the acts of violations recently recorded in the health centres in the DRC perpetrated on the night of 3 to 4 July 2022 and on the night of 7 to 8 July 2022 are inhuman and criminal in nature;
❖ CONSIDERING SOLSICO's repeated appeals to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo about the insecurity in health centres, especially those in conflict zones where attacks by armed individuals are frequent.
Public Services International (PSI) condemns these acts of high barbarity against health care workers and patients and supports SOLSICO in its noble struggle to ensure that health care workers are protected in the performance of their duties and can carry out their work in the best possible safety conditions.
Public Services International, whose voice is heard around the world, is dedicated to promoting social and economic justice and accessible and efficient public services in all corners of the world. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, as elsewhere, the fulfilment of these aims requires that peace and security be achieved and guaranteed everywhere.
In order to guarantee the provision of quality services in the vital area of health, Public Services International is demanding that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo ensure the safety of health workers, patients and their belongings as well as health care centres in conflict zones.
Public Services International encourages SOLSICO to continue to fight against all violations of human and workers' rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to advocate for the respect of the International Bill of Human Rights and all legal texts contributing to the protection and security of workers.
Long live trade union solidarity,
Long live Public Services International
Always in favour of social justice, solidarity and quality public services.
Sani Baba Mohammed
Regional Secretary for Africa and Arab Countries
PSI Regional Office, Lomé