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Inside the hospital that serves patients who live on less than a dollar a day

2015-05-25

Africa Day has been celebrated on May 25th since 1963. It's an occasion to remember Africa, a complicated continent filled with both struggles and triumphs. 

According to the United Nations Human Development Index, the 18 least developed countries are African. And the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of them. Since World War II, the country has been torn apart by various conflicts. But after all these years, the nation's people still hope to succeed and live peaceful lives.

In the DRC's capital, people like Alvaro, who left behind his life in Madrid, are fighting to turn the country around. He works in a hospital that, since 1991, has served people who live on less than one dollar a day.

ALVARO PERLADO
Deputy Director, Monkole Hospital (Democratic Republic of Congo)
"We have about 84,000 visitors a year. We treat, more than anything, tropical diseases such as malaria. There is also a lot of tuberculosis, and we treat AIDS patients. There's also ringworm, plus all the diseases that we have in Europe or other countries.”

Power outages are constant, pushing the limits of an already weak health system. But his hospital remains a leading one. There are also has three clinics in different city slums, which serve 20,000 people. The hospital has 110 beds, but it needs an expansion, as there are always more patients.

ALVARO PERLADO
Deputy Director, Monkole Hospital (Democratic Republic of Congo)
"The hospital is not simply for the people of Kinshasa for the entire Congo, which is quite large. It is five times the size of Spain and has 70 million inhabitants.”

A famous journalist said correctly that Africa is not a country. Africa Day is celebrated, at least partly, to remind us that all 55 African countries have their own strengths and weaknesses, their own similarities and differences.


AC/ATO
MG / Harambee / Hospital Monkole
-JM
-PR
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