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Sexual violence in the protracted conflict of DRC programming for rape survivors in South Kivu
Birthe Steiner, Marie T Benner, Egbert Sondorp, K Peter Schmitz, Ursula Mesmer, Sandrine Rosenberger
Conflict and Health , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/1752-1505-3-3
Abstract: From 2003 till to date Malteser International has run a medico-social support programme for rape survivors in South Kivu province, DRC. In the context of this programme, a host of data was collected. We present these data and discuss the findings within the frame of available literature.Malteser International registered 20,517 female rape survivors in the three year period 2005–2007. Women of all ages have been targeted by sexual violence and only few of those – and many of them only after several years – sought medical care and psychological help. Sexual violence in the DRC frequently led to social, especially familial, exclusion. Members of military and paramilitary groups were identified as the main perpetrators of sexual violence.We have documented that in the DRC conflict sexual violence has been – and continues to be – highly prevalent in a wide area in the East of the country. Humanitarian programming in this field is challenging due to the multiple needs of rape survivors. The easily accessible, integrated medical and psycho-social care that the programme offered apparently responded to the needs of many rape survivors in this area.Today's armed conflicts mostly occur within state borders and typically drag on for years, even decades. Multicausal in nature, these crises are typically "highly politicised" and "frequently associated with non-conventional warfare" [1,2]. National accountability mechanisms are characteristically absent or severely weakened [3], which consequently gives rise to a climate of impunity for perpetrating all sorts of crimes. These conflicts tend to affect the civilian sphere, regardless of growing international emphasis on the protection of civilians in conflict. Civilians are affected accidentally as they are not well distinguishable from combatants, or intentionally. They may be intentionally targeted because "the goal of warfare is not simply the occupation and control of territory [anymore] [...] – it is about destroying the ident
Violence against civilians and access to health care in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo: three cross-sectional surveys
Kathryn P Alberti, Emmanuel Grellety, Ya-Ching Lin, Jonathan Polonsky, Katrien Coppens, Luis Encinas, Marie-No?lle Rodrigue, Biagio Pedalino, Vital Mondonge
Conflict and Health , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1752-1505-4-17
Abstract: In May 2009, we conducted three cross-sectional surveys among 200 000 resident and displaced people in North Kivu (Kabizo, Masisi, Kitchanga). The recall period covered an eight month period from the beginning of the most recent offensives to the survey date. Heads of households provided information on displacement, death, violence, theft, and access to fields and health care.Crude mortality rates (per 10 000 per day) were below emergency thresholds: Kabizo 0.2 (95% CI: 0.1-0.4), Masisi 0.5 (0.4-0.6), Kitchanga 0.7 (0.6-0.9). Violence was the reported cause in 39.7% (27/68) and 35.8% (33/92) of deaths in Masisi and Kitchanga, respectively. In Masisi 99.1% (897/905) and Kitchanga 50.4% (509/1020) of households reported at least one member subjected to violence. Displacement was reported by 39.0% of households (419/1075) in Kitchanga and 99.8% (903/905) in Masisi. Theft affected 87.7% (451/514) of households in Masisi and 57.4% (585/1019) in Kitchanga. Access to health care was good: 93.5% (359/384) of the sick in Kabizo, 81.7% (515/630) in Masisi, and 89.8% (651/725) in Kitchanga received care, of whom 83.0% (298/359), 87.5% (451/515), and 88.9% (579/651), respectively, did not pay.Our results show the impact of the ongoing war on these civilian populations: one third of deaths were violent in two sites, individuals are frequently subjected to violence, and displacements and theft are common. While humanitarian aid may have had a positive impact on disease mortality and access to care, the population remains exposed to extremely high levels of violence.A 5-year war that ravaged the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officially ended with the endorsement of peace agreements and withdrawal of troops in 2003. The war had a devastating impact; millions of civilians died, many due to lack of access to health care[1-5]. Although a national peace process has been held and elections were conducted in 2006, the eastern regions of the country have yet to see the end of hostili
Users' guides to the medical literature: how to use an article about mortality in a humanitarian emergency
Edward J Mills, Francesco Checchi, James J Orbinski, Michael J Schull, Frederick M Burkle, Chris Beyrer, Curtis Cooper, Colleen Hardy, Sonal Singh, Richard Garfield, Bradley A Woodruff, Gordon H Guyatt
Conflict and Health , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1752-1505-2-9
Abstract: You are a physician working for an international humanitarian medical organization as head of mission. You have recently arrived in the North Kivu province in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and are conducting a health assessment of the region to inform your medical response intervention. Media reports suggest that mortality from violence are extremely high in this area of the country, but a more accurate assessment of mortality – both directly and indirectly related to violence – will assist you in setting priorities and may mandate a call for additional medical specialists.Political agendas may distort media reports of violence and death and the quality of the evidence on which the reports rely may be low. Further, media reports are likely to omit deaths from malnutrition and infection, often the most common causes of mortality in protracted violent settings [1,2]. The need for higher quality evidence prompts you to formulate a question of public health relevance: "In the protracted conflict setting of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to what extent is mortality elevated in conflict zones compared to other countries in the region, and what is the nature of any increase in mortality?"When searching for recent reports about mortality in the DRC both large studies broadly representing the national population and studies of the North Kivu community in which the NGO intends to implement programmes would be useful. You will follow the recommendations of the Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition (SMART) initiative and seek studies of high quality [3]. You will ask a support team in the capital, Kinshasa – your own electronic access is painfully slow – to seek retrospective surveys with coverage that represent the population and the time period of interest.Because many NGO reports will be unpublished [4], your team will contact local offices of UN agencies, as well as major data collecting NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières, Ac
Mayi-Mayi: Young Rebels in Kivu, DRC
L Jourdan
Africa Development , 2011,
Abstract: Mayi-Mayi militias have played a central role in the Congo war. Mostly active in North and South Kivu, these rural militias are not a unified movement. Nevertheless, they share a nationalist ideology and a number of war rituals centered on the belief that the mayi, a specially treated water, can protect warriors from bullets. In this article, I have traced the history of these beliefs and ritual practices that are rooted in the precolonial and colonial periods. Far from being a symptom of regression or new-barbarism, I have tried to show that the recourse to war rituals, as well as the nationalistic discourse, were effective in compensating the lack of weapons and military organization, and in mobilizing youth in a context of state collapse. Nevertheless, most of Mayi-Mayi commanders have proved to be opportunists and many young people have become involved in a spiral of violence that needs to be broken.
The Data Centre for IDPs in North Kivu  [cached]
Laura Jacqueline Church
Forced Migration Review , 2010,
Abstract: Effective provision of aid and protection for those displaced in eastern DRC requires reliable data – which the new Data Centre in North Kivu is helping to provide.
Who should be undertaking population-based surveys in humanitarian emergencies?
Paul B Spiegel
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1742-7622-4-12
Abstract: Most surveys in humanitarian emergencies are done by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Some undertake good quality surveys while others have an already overburdened staff with limited epidemiological skills. Manuals explaining cluster survey methodology are available and in use. However, it is debatable as to whether using standardised, 'cookbook' survey methodologies are appropriate. Coordination of surveys is often lacking. If a coordinating body is established, as recommended, it is questionable whether it should have sole authority to release surveys due to insufficient independence. Donors should provide sufficient funding for personnel, training, and survey implementation, and not solely for direct programme implementation.A dedicated corps of trained epidemiologists needs to be identified and made available to undertake surveys in humanitarian emergencies. NGOs in the field may need to form an alliance with certain specialised agencies or pool technically capable personnel. If NGOs continue to do surveys by themselves, a simple training manual with sample survey questionnaires, methodology, standardised files for data entry and analysis, and manual for interpretation should be developed and modified locally for each situation. At the beginning of an emergency, a central coordinating body should be established that has sufficient authority to set survey standards, coordinate when and where surveys should be undertaken and act as a survey repository. Technical expertise is expensive and donors must pay for it. As donors increasingly demand evidence-based programming, they have an obligation to ensure that sufficient funds are provided so organisations have adequate technical staff.Timely and accurate data are necessary to prioritise interventions and effectively respond to humanitarian emergencies. Rapid initial assessments are essential first steps to help to establish whether a problem may exist. However, generally such 'quick and dirty' methods are not
A review of methodology and analysis of nutrition and mortality surveys conducted in humanitarian emergencies from October 1993 to April 2004
Claudine Prudhon, Paul B Spiegel
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1742-7622-4-10
Abstract: Nutrition (N = 368) and crude mortality rate (CMR; N = 158) surveys conducted by 33 non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies in 17 countries from October 1993 to April 2004 were analysed for sampling validity, precision, quality of measurement and calculation according to several criteria.One hundred and thirty (35.3%) nutrition surveys and 5 (3.2%) CMR surveys met the criteria for quality. Quality of surveys varied significantly depending on the agency. The proportion of nutrition surveys that met criteria for quality rose significantly from 1993 to 2004; there was no improvement for mortality surveys during this period.Significant errors and imprecision in the methodology and reporting of nutrition and mortality surveys were identified. While there was an improvement in the quality of nutrition surveys over the years, the quality of mortality surveys remained poor. Recent initiatives aimed at standardising nutrition and mortality survey quality should be strengthened. There are still a number of methodological issues in nutrition and mortality surveys in humanitarian emergencies that need further study.Humanitarian emergencies increased five-fold in the last decade of the twentieth century [1]. By the end of 2005, there were an estimated 23.7 million internally displaced persons and approximately 8.3 million refugees [2,3]; in 2005, an estimated 157.5 million people were affected by natural disasters [4]. Concomitant with the increase in humanitarian emergencies and the consequent increase in morbidity and mortality among the affected populations, the discipline of emergency public health and nutrition has evolved, including efforts to improve assessments and monitoring of health and nutrition situations [5].Nutritional status and mortality rates are now widely used as essential indicators to assess the degree of severity of a crisis, to follow trends, and to guide decision making, which includes the allocation of funds [6,7]. The most widely acc
Planning for the future of North Kivu
Fran?ois Tuyihimbaze Rucogoza
Forced Migration Review , 2010,
Abstract: While North Kivu is still mired in the troubles of yesterday and today, the Administration is actively planning for the creation of a better future.
Field note from Tajikistan Compound disaster - A new humanitarian challenge?
Charles Kelly
Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies , 2009, DOI: 10.4102/jamba.v2i3.32
Abstract: During the winter of 2007-2008 the Central Asian country of Tajikistan experienced an unusually cold winter which led to shortages of electricity, water and heating as well as food losses and these impacts occurred at the same time as a combined with a drought, and dramatically increased food prices and increased food insecurity. These impacts were exacerbated by a lack of investment in the water, power and fuel supplies, health care and education systems since independence in 1991. This combination of events was termed a compound disaster. The note explores the conditions in Tajikistan which created the compound disaster, the humanitarian response and how this disaster became a neglected event. The concept of compound disaster has gained limited acceptance in Central Asia but may also be applicable elsewhere. The difficulty of identifying and responding to a compound disaster creates a particular challenge for humanitarian organisations if they are to be effective in reducing human su%ering due to disasters.
Pteridophyta collected in the Kivu Zone of Zaire
Jan Korna?,Kazimierz A. Nowak
Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae , 1992, DOI: 10.5586/asbp.1992.013
Abstract: A list is given of 50 taxa of pteridophytes collected in 1983 in the Kivu Zone of Zaire by K. A. Nowak and identified in KRA by J. Korna . Twenty six of these taxa have not been indicated for the Kivu Zone in the recent revision of the pteridophytes of this area by Pichi Sermolli (1983, 1985).
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