LUVUNGI MHCD GENERAL HOSPITAL
Luvungi MHCD Hospital is a community and a proximal Hospital located in Luvungi village, Uvira Territory, South Kivu Province in Democratic Republic of Congo. It serves more than 100,000 people because Luvungi alone has more than 40,000 people. It has a capacity of 150 beds and four major departments namely pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics, Internal medicine and surgery. We offer services like Echography, Radiography, ECG, maternity, blood bank, laboratory, dentistry, pharmacy and ophthalmology. We operate in 4 main centres namely rehabilitation and re-education centre for the physically handicapped, nutritional centre, counseling and epilepsy centre. We also have a centre for natural medicine (Naturopathy and homeopathy) that carries out research on Congolese traditional medicine and treating people suffering from chronic diseases with alternative medicines. Luvungi MHCD Hospital is the only one in Uvira district with these services and centres and this makes it a referral Hospital and receives many patients from all villages of the district, neighboring districts and provinces and even neighboring countries.
The Luvungi MHCD General Hospital was founded by Luc Mulimbalimba, who is a Medical Doctor by profession, Missionary and the Pastor of Spring of Life Mission Centre (Bethesda Ministries International) Churches in the DRC and Australia. He is married to Delice Marango Mulimbalimba; together they have 5 children including two boys and three girls ( Andre Mulimbalimba,Elisabeth Mulimbalimba,Elaine Victoria Mulimbalimba,Jean Luc Kahindja Mulimbalimba and Susan Stella Mulimbalimba). Due to his community development activities, Luc Mulimbalimba was voted Member of Parliament in 2011. He represents the Territory of Uvira in the national parliament of the DRC. Luc Mulimbalimba has carried out several community development projects for the population of the Uvira Territory.
The main objectives are to provide good, proper and affordable healthcare services to vulnerable people especially children and women living in Uvira District, promoting primary Health Care and community development and poverty reduction. Luvungi Hospital is one of the departments of MHCD Mission in Health Care and Development. Australian friends have been very supportive to Dr.Luc Mulimbalimba, Luvungi General Hospital and MHCD at large. Most equipment’s at the Hospital were donated by Australians.
Every year, we received more than 7,200 patients who come for consultation, treatment, labo test, hospitalization, dental care, ophthalmology services, operations and others were outpatients. Those we treated not only came from Uvira Territory but from other Territories as well and neighboring country Burundi because it’s the only Hospital in the region that provides free medical care to the poor people and very cheap and affordable healthcare.
HISTORY OF MHCD AND LUVUNGI GENERAL HOSPITAL:
Dr. Luc Mulimbalimba got the vision of constructing the Luvungi MHCD Hospital when he was 6 years old. He was sleeping and dreamt, he saw very many people coming to seek help at a mountain full of houses and there were very many people present to help those in need and he was the leader of the team. When he woke up, he told his Father of his dream and his Father said the vision was of adult persons and that a child of his age can not get such a vision. He also said that the vision is a prophesy of his life, and that when he grows up he will do great things of helping and supporting people with different needs.
When Dr. Luc Mulimbalimba completed his University education, he went on to Kenya and worked with ICIPE-International centre for Insect, Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi. He was promoted to the ICIPE Coordinator of the Western Region position based in Bungoma and after working for some time he got the vision of starting up MHCD. He went back to Luvungi Uvira to visit relatives and friends. At the same time his parents fell ill, this was just after some months the war had stopped in D.R.Congo but there was a lot of insecurity and there were still places where war was happening. He found there were no Hospitals in Luvungi, just health centres without beds, mattresses or medicines, many children were suffering from malaria and many again lost lives due to lack of proper medication, many children and adults suffered from malnutrition and life was very very hard. Luvungi had no Radio station , TV station, community Hall or any developments. All this made Dr. Luc Mulimbalimba to resign from his work at ICIPE and come to Luvungi Uvira to commence development and Health care activities.
Through support from Australian friends, we managed to purchase 6 acres of Land on a hill in Luvungi called Itara and we started constructing a Hospital. We started with a small room of 3m by 4m where Dr.Luc was consulting and treating patients. Through the grace of God and support from friends, MHCD began constructing a Hospital and now Luvungi MHCD General Hospital has more than 20 buildings, a capacity of 150 beds that’s well equipped with mattresses, beds, tables, chairs and other furniture’s from Australia and it’s the one that hosted the liberty surgical campaign for almost 3 months every year. On 30th June 2015, a senior advisor to the office of the President in charge of social and cultural affairs visited Luvungi MHCD Hospital, when he saw the buildings, staffs and so many people who came to receive treatment and be operated, he was so surprised and said the work that Dr.Luc and MHCD are doing in Luvungi village Uvira Territory is what the government and international NGOs are doing. He called the President to let him know of all that he had seen, the President told him in his appreciation to Dr.Luc Mulimbalimba and MHCD; Luvungi General Hospital shall be called Mulimbalimba MHCD General Hospital. In D.R. Congo culture, this is usually done when someone did great things and then he or she passes on or as a monument. This was a great surprise to the Congolese people because this was being done and Dr.Luc Mulimbalimba is still alive. This showed the highest consideration by the government of D.R. Congo to Dr.Luc Mulimbalimba and the entire MHCD fraternity.Dr.Luc and his Father remembered the vision he had when he was 6 years. The vision he got has now been realised.
We are so grateful to MHCD friends, partners and supporters who contributed and made this vision a reality. Today hundreds of people have been treated and operated for free at the MHCD Luvungi Hospital. Hopes have been restores to the hopeless, joy has also been restored and Luvungi village now is a small town and not a village.Dr.Luc is so grateful to the Almighty God for his strength and for bringing his way people to support him in realizing his vision. He thanks his wife Delice Marango Mulimbalimba and the children for allowing him to make several travels to Luvungi for mission work.
From 1996 to 2004, the DR Congo has been suffering from a war that has been brought to the DRC from neighboring countries. More than 8 million people have died in the war to date and most of them because of hunger, bullets and diseases. There are many children who have been orphaned because of the war. Many women have been widowed. Many young girls and women have been raped and some of them became pregnant and are now single mothers. At present, many parts of the DRC are safe but people are still suffering from the effects of the war.
At MHCD Luvungi General Hospital we received very many children and women suffering from different diseases and 80% of them were not able to pay for medical care. Even though the services we offer are cheap and affordable but still many are not able to pay because they live much below the poverty line. This made us lack medicine and purchasing other medical materials was difficult and this has brought about many challenges and difficulties because we were forced to offer them treatment since they did not have any other place to go to. This is why we are focusing on mother and child health so that we can help them and save their lives.
LIBERTY SURGICAL CAMPAIGN
We started this campaign after we saw very many people in need of operations but lacking funds and specialists. At the MHCD Hospital we have general medical Doctors and the specialists present are dentists and ophthalmologist. All patients suffering from cleft lip and pallet, malformations, goitre, prostate, cancer, Fistula and many other complications in need of specialists we had to transfer them to other Hospitals but since the patients were very poor they could not afford the costs for medical care and transport fees so they had to just go back to their villages and await their fate. Even diseases that are preventable in most countries could lead to death for these patients due to poverty. In saving lives of this people we started the liberty surgical campaign where we operate people who are poor and vulnerable for free for 2 months and the program runs twice or thrice per year according to available funds. We get specialists from Kinshasa, Bukavu, Nairobi Kenya, Bujumbura Burundi and Australia in different domain’s especially gynecology, plastic surgery, pediatric, anesthetist, orthopedist, physiotherapist, radiologist and any specialist who accepts to volunteer in any field of medicine. Many people who had given up hope in life have had their hopes restored and are now fighting poverty in their villages, many women who were being referred to as witches due to the nature of their diseases like goitre are now at peace in their villages and living together with other members enjoying life, Many families that had separated due to health problems have now reconciled. The surgical campaign has therefore given birth to hope, peace, reconciliation, prosperity and unity in so many families and communities. It has saved lives of so many people living in Uvira and other districts of D.R. Congo.
This program costs MHCD a lot of money because all specialists come from very far, we pay for their airfare, accommodation, food, local transportation and some money for thanks for their services so when they go back to their homes they may not go empty handed after working for two months. We also purchase medicine, consumable medical materials like bandages, gloves, gauges, surgical blades, surgical threads and needles and many others. For the patients coming from very far and cannot afford food we also provide food for them at the Hospital. All this brings about so many challenges and makes us spend a lot of money but we have to do this in order to save lives. Ikindly please request you reading this brochure to help us in one way or another. Your support will help operate on one woman or child who had already lost hope in life and just waiting for their death. Through your support, you will have restored peace and hope for not only the family but also the community. A standard operation costs USD 80 to 150 and a major one goes for USD 250 to 300.In each program we operate 400 to 800 patients. After receiving your donation, we shall be sending you the name, photo and medical history of the person you supported. We shall let you know how your support has changed his or her life and that of the community.
Goitre is one of the diseases that’s making so many women suffer here in D.R. Congo.Many people in the villages believe that its related to witchcraft and has made many women suffer very much. In the second phase we operated 32 women suffering from goitre. All of them were coming from the villages and could never afford money for operations because the goitre operation costs USD 500 and the whole of Uvira District does not have a surgeon to do the operation. All our patients were operated for free and we thank God because all operations were successful.
Below is a testimony from one of the patients:
My name is Busime,I was suffering from goitre. I had sleepless nights due to lots of pain in the neck. I could not even eat since a small bit will trigger itching at the neck. I even had lost hope in life. Something that greatly depressed me was the disgrace I faced whenever I got out of my home. I was rejected from the community let alone my relatives. I even became the address to the village, newcomers could be told to go next to the woman with goitre, and all this brought about so much stress. I was helpless, could not afford the money for operations. I lost hope and cried day and night. Am very grateful to MHCD and Australian friends for bringing Doctors from Kinshasa and even help out in operating me.Am now free from goitre, I look beautiful and I have a future to look upto.I have gone back to my agricultural occupation and small businesses and am free to go anywhere without being victimised. Through your support you have brought joy, peace and happiness in my life and please as you remembered me, may you remember too the many others whom I know and are going through the same situation I had before the operation. Forever I will be grateful to you.
CLEFT LIP AND PALLET OPERATION:
Our Doctors succeeded in carrying out operations on all the children with cleft lip and pallet. Most women who had given birth to such children were rejected by their husbands and communities but through the operation the children were healed and their mothers were very very happy and it brought back some of the separated families. When the husbands heard that their children had become well they came to see them at the Hospital and even asked for forgives from their families. The operation brought peace and Joy in the families. When the children went back to their communities they were well received and those who thought their condition was as a result of a curse or witchcraft were able to understand that it was a deformation like any other. All the operations on the children were very successful.
During the liberty surgical campaign, we received so many cases of eye problems. Most of the patients ranged between the ages of 40 to 80.Amongst them were those with cataracts and they were operated and those with diseases requiring medication were given medicine. Many others who were impaired short or long sighted and were given glasses. For most it was their first time to receive the reading glasses and they were very happy especially primary and secondary school teachers. Every week we used to receive more than 100 people with eye problems. We thank God because all patients present received treatment and their problems were solved. Those who never managed to travel far to look for an ophthalmology were very grateful to have him locally. We even had to organise mobile clinics in places with very many patients with the eye problems like in Fizi District and we managed to treat them. They were very very happy to see a medical teal from the Luvungi MHCD Hospital reaching them far into the villages. Those in need of operations were transported to Luvungi Hospital to be operated for free.
This was one of the main problems in Uvira District. The whole District does not have a dentist. We got a dentist from Kinshasa to Uvira to come and treat the sick. There were so many dental problems in the district like dental carries etc and others who had had their teeth poorly removed by unqualified personnel’s that had brought them infections and inflammations in the head and some even almost died. By good luck, our dentist began with the treatment of administering antibiotics and anti inflammatory medicines and all of them faired on well. For those with dental carries, the teeth were extracted and it was the very first time for most of them to meet a dental doctor.
We also received young girls with malformed teeth and others with teeth growing inside other teeth. One of the young girls in the photo below testified and said when she used to go to school, any time she talked or laughed her peers laughed at her. She became so traumatized till she dropped out of school. Even when she played with her neighbor friends at home in the avenues, they used to laugh at her and this made her not to leave her house.She lives in Ubwari Island with her family and there is not even a nurse there,they have traditional midwives to help them in case of medical problems. When they heard of a dentist at the Luvungi Hospital she came with her mother and the MHCD dentist removed all the teeth that were growing inside other teeth and she became well. Together with her Mum they could not believe that she now had normal teeth. At the village, she began playing once again with friends laughing and talk with no complexity and she plans to go back to school next year.This was one of the successes the liberty surgical campaign achieved through dental care.We realized that dentists are very much needed in Uvira and Fizi Districts and many people in the villages are losing their lives due to lack of dentists. We are so so grateful for the medical and surgical campaign, it really helped in saving lives of so many people and solves many people’s problems who could have never afforded dental care. Liberty surgical campaign was like a great help to them.
The first group of the people we received in the liberty surgical campaign were women. We received so many women with different complications amongst them was fistula. Those who suffered from Fistula are those who were raped during war, others are coming from villages with insecurity and others were those who got married while below 14 years of age. One woman we received was from Fizi District. She said she was raped at gunpoint with 13 rebels and after that a huge stick was made to get into her private part. She suffered for many months without getting any medication until she heard that MHCD was organising a medical surgical campaign, she came to visit and at the time she was suffering from malnutrition too and she produced bad odor. At our Fizi transit house she had to be bathed and then transported by a land cruiser to Luvungi Hospital. She was consulted and tested and was operated on the following. The operation was one of the most difficult we encountered in the second phase because we discovered other gynecological problems but we thank God because everything went on well. Our gynecologist and surgeon succeeded in the operation and the following day she entered the Intensive care unit for one week. She is progressing on well and end of October she went back to her village. She was surprised when she was asked to go without being asked for even a cent. She cried tears of joy for more than 30 minutes, she could not believe that she could remain in a hospital for more than a month and be treated and just be released without paying anything. Thank you very much for praying for us and for supporting this campaign. You brought joy, peace, hope and prosperity in the lives of many women and girls who had lost hope in life. Most of the women we received went back liberated from their chains of diseases. They manifested this through their joy and laughing and testifying to other women whenever they saw them at the Hospital. Through this program we have managed to reduce poverty in many families and many women can now go back to their manual jobs.
We also distributed wheelchairs for kids to children suffering with physical handicap. Many children who had remained in their homes due to lack of mobility means received wheelchairs for free. Our medical team went even into the villages impassable by vehicles to distribute the wheelchairs and even in Islands. The population are very very happy and even for most of them it is their first time to see and receive wheelchairs.
Below are 2 testimonies from some people who received the wheelchairs:
My name is Amina.I gave birth to 2 children who were both physically handicapped. When my husband saw that am giving birth to handicapped children he left me.I was rejected from my family and community. I could not manage to get leave the house because I had to take care of them round the clock. This made me suffer a lot because they could not go to toilet so I had to clean and carry them everytime.Am so grateful to Dr.LucMulimbalimba,MHCD and the wheelchairs for Kids Australia for supporting my children with wheelchairs. I could never have thought of them owning the wheelchairs but now I have two wheelchairs for free. The children are now mobile and now I can go to the farm without any problems. Am no longer poor, I can now afford food for my children.
My name is Furaha.I gave birth to this child when he was well and after a few months he started developing some complications. He could not walk and this made me suffer a lot because he could go for toilet just where he was. His vision was to attend school and become a Doctor but the school was far away, 4 km from home and this made him suffer to go to school. Every day he could come back home crying lamenting why he is the only one suffering so much. This made me have so many thought and stress. I thank very much Dr.LucMulimbalimba for paying our transport, the child and I, from my village to Luvungi MHCD Hospital and for giving him a free wheelchair. Am grateful also to the wheelchairs for kids Australia for providing my child with wheelchairs. I could never afford to buy a wheelchair for him in my life. There are so many children who are suffering like my own child and it pains my heart to see them so, I request the wheelchairs for kids Australia to send more wheelchairs to Uvira District to help the many suffering children with the same problems. Please help them too.
You can also support us by opening MHCD surgical club in your avenue, town, village, province and state. The club shall be for awareness and fundraising for the surgical program. We can send you brochures, reports and posters to help you in the awareness.
For more information or support, contact us on: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel:+243 997 100 602 (wattsapp messages only), Website:www.mhcdafrica.com and www.mhdcasa.org.au