Democratic Republic of Congo

Measles vaccines being delivered by motorbike from Lisala to Boxo Manzi, Mongala province, a remote area in the north of the country badly hit by a measles epidemic. MSF sent emergency teams to provide treatment and vaccinations. Democratic Republic of Congo, February 2020. © MSF / Caroline Thirion



outpatient consultations


vaccinations against measles in response to an outbreak 


people treated for sexual violence

In Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), thousands of people continued to endure armed conflict, displacement and sexual violence in 2020, while a measles epidemic, Ebola outbreaks and the COVID-19 pandemic stretched health authorities to the limit.

In 2020, MSF worked in 16 of DRC’s 26 provinces through 14 projects and 28 emergency interventions. Our teams provided general and specialist healthcare, nutrition, vaccinations, surgery, pediatric and maternal care, support for survivors of sexual violence as well as treatment and prevention activities for HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and cholera. Staff also responded to a massive measles epidemic, two outbreaks of Ebola and the arrival of COVID-19.

In Kinshasa, the city hit hardest by the pandemic, we offered emergency support in Saint-Joseph Hospital and adapted all our programs to ensure continuity of care, including for the 2,093 patients at the MSF-supported Kabinda hospital, which treats advanced HIV and TB.

As authorities struggled to contain the world’s biggest measles outbreak, MSF carried out mass vaccination campaigns and supported the response to the largest Ebola outbreak in the country’s history, which infected 3,470 people and claimed 2,287 lives. When a new Ebola outbreak occurred in Équateur province, MSF helped increase laboratory capacity and set up isolation units in communities in a decentralized approach resulting in fewer deaths among Ebola patients.

The level of sexual violence remained extremely high in DRC in provinces affected by conflict and in those considered more stable. MSF provided medical and psychological care to survivors in Kasai-Central, Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema and Haut Katanga. Those seeking care within 72 hours of an assault received post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV, emergency contraception, antibiotics to prevent sexually transmitted infections and vaccinations for tetanus and hepatitis B.

A number of security incidents in Ituri and Kivu provinces at the end of 2020 forced MSF to reduce our activities and to rethink how best to offer support without putting patients or staff at risk.

Regions where MSF had projects in 2020.