Since 2000, IMA has been a key partner in the DRC’s development and humanitarian response, working alongside the Congolese government, development partners, and local and international organizations to revitalize the health system and improve WASH outcomes. Through long-standing relationships with the Ministry of Health and a robust faith-based network, IMA has provided direct assistance in 251 health zones. IMA has consistently and distinctively operated in the country’s most remote and challenging areas where successive armed conflicts and political instability have demanded creativity and unparalleled local partnership.
With such expansive geographic coverage and enduring linkages with the government and local authorities, IMA’s long-term investment in the DRC is working to strengthen health systems. We maintain close relationships with health zone staff serving on management committees at every health facility where our health programming is carried out. These health management committees also have up to 60 community liaisons, known locally as relay communautaire, who regularly visit households and share critical health messaging. These relay communautaire are the key to IMA’s enduring health interventions.
DRC Country Director Dr. Larry Sthreshley says,
Having an integrated health systems strengthening approach as opposed to individual WASH projects is a much more cost-effective and sustainable way of dealing with WASH issues. By working through a health systems strengthening framework, there is a synergism between all projects. Project supervision is carried out by government health zone staff who visit health centers and oversee community activities that are happening within the system.
By tapping into our deep roots in the DRC, we want to see safe drinking water flow to millions.