Highlights of September/October 2018 Trip to the DRC

  1. Implementation of the 2018 Integrated Mass Drug Administration (MDA) Activities:

    Training of the Trainers: Annual training and retraining by UFAR technical staff in company of a representative of the DRC Ministry of Health was carried out for 13 of 15 regional projects supported by UFAR and our partners. For each project participants included the medical director and two nurse supervisors per health zone, the head of provincial health division and the entire project coordination staff - totaling between 20 an 50 participants. Across three days the technical, financial, and logistical aspects of the annual MDA campaign were reviewed.

  2. Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention: Hydrocele and Lymphedema: The first set of historical hydrocele surgeries in the DRC under this program were performed on three patients in the UFAR-supported Katanga-Sud project region on September 26.

  3. The Expert Committee for Elimination of Onchocerciasis in the DRC was established on September 5. This committee will review annual results until it is able to declare that Riverblindness has been eliminated.

  4. Issues: Only two of the three drugs scheduled for mass distribution had actually arrived in the DRC. Mectizan (for Riverblindness) and Albendazole have arrived, but Praziquantel has not. Distribution of the first two is underway. This may require a second round of distribution to some or all areas.