As if these challenges were not formidable enough, devastation struck the country again on May 22, 2021 when Mount Nyiragongo near the city of Goma erupted, disrupting water supplies and electricity, destroying homes and health infrastructure, creating smoke, ash, and acid rain, and causing thousands to flee the area. Health providers lost their homes, facilities, supplies, and educational and training materials. Government officials called for the city to be evacuated, but for doctors, nurses and other health providers to remain. Unwavering, IMA World Health staff worked alongside local health providers to adapt to this latest shock and addressed immediate health needs of the growing displaced population.
Health workers relied on their deep knowledge of communities and on relationships that had been established through many years of collaboration with IMA World Health on Ebola education and mitigation efforts funded by USAID and other partners.
Meeting the expressed needs of the community in a way that engendered local ownership and recognition of health zone authorities helped to create pathways for both learning and resilience.
Now, IMA World Health is working with government officials, national and local organizations, and other partners in 10 Ebola-affected health zones in North Kivu Province to ensure access to and provision of high-quality maternal, newborn, and child health services, voluntary family planning, and reproductive health care. We also help to strengthen routine immunizations, expand access to nutrition and hygiene services, and increase access to care for infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, Ebola, and COVID-19.