Founded over a decade ago during the peak of the conflict by Congolese orthopedic surgeon Jo Lusi and his social activist wife Lyn, the US organization HEAL Africa is a direct response to these horrific conditions. HEAL Africa partners proactively with communities in DR Congo to transform the status of women and bring village life back into balance. Through support of a full-service training hospital in Goma and its community-based initiatives in public health, community development, and conflict resolution, HEAL Africa works with individuals and communities to restore health, build hope, and help create a better future for all people of the DR Congo. Today HEAL Africa helps support a Congolese staff of 28 doctors, 54 nurses, 340+ community development advocates and educators, a small administrative team, and hundreds of Congolese volunteers.
The 155-bed tertiary referral hospital is one of only three referral hospitals in the DR Congo. It provides general surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology (including fistula repair), pediatrics, and internal medicine. It also serves as a center for healthcare and research, and for training doctors and healthcare professionals. The hospital comprises roughly 20% of HEAL Africa’s work.
The other 80% is focused on community development efforts. HEAL Africa supports 31 safe houses throughout North Kivu and the Maniema provinces, and partners with over 90 remote clinics and hospitals. Programs address gender-based violence, public health and health education, law and justice training, community development and rebuilding, spiritual development, and personal finance through micro-loans.
Thanks to this multidisciplinary approach, HEAL Africa is at the forefront of addressing the community-wide health, social, and economic issues raised by ongoing conflict and effects of extreme poverty.
Why We Are
The International Rescue Committee calls the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) the “worst humanitarian disaster since World War II.” For decades, it has been characterized by extreme violence, mass population displacements, widespread rape, and a collapse of public health services. Since 1998 alone, more than 6 million people have died and more than 1.2 million have been displaced. In this multi-faceted conflict, women’s bodies are the battleground. Destroying a woman’s body shreds the family fabric, causing the community’s social fabric to disintegrate. A study published by the American Journal of Public Health in May 2011 states that roughly 400,000 rapes are committed each year in the DR Congo. In one month alone this year, staff supported by Heal Africa reported 630 new rape cases from just 8 of our 31 safe houses.
HEAL Africa™ is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization in the USA that partners with and supports HEAL Africa, a Congo-based non-governmental organization registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The HEAL Africa organization in the Congo is also affiliated with HEAL Canada, a charity based in Canada, and with an affiliated organization with non-profit status pending in the UK.