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As I approached the end of my pregnancy, I was concern how we would cope with the expenses associated with the birth. My husband is not only absent, but also has no means to pay for the maternity ward. Our income already could not cover our daily needs, let alone all the expenses of the delivery and post-delivery care.
When I arrived at the maternity in Tshikisha, I learned that Action Against Hunger covers the cost of the delivery and the care of the mother and child, free of charge for up to seven days after the delivery. This has been very beneficial to me. I do not know in what condition I would have given birth to my child. On top of that, Action Against Hunger workers in the health center taught me how to space out births.
"I am very happy with this help you are doing in Mbuji-Mayi."
The economic situation of the Kasaï Oriental province, and specifically in the city of Mbuji-Mayi, mainly depends on diamond mining activities. Although most of the young men and many children work long hours in the mines, they only benefit from very low incomes. Local poverty level goes beyond national rates, leading to a situation where less than 1 out of 10 children under the age of two reach an appropriate diversity diet.
In such context, the psychological distress of pregnant and breastfeeding women can hinder appropriate care practices, which are essential for the physical, motor and emotional development of the child. The situation also makes it difficult for pregnant and breastfeeding women to take care of themselves in a country with a high average fertility rate of 6.2 children per woman.
Action Against Hunger has been present in the DRC since 1997 and currently has a main coordination office in Kinshasa, five bases across the provinces of Ituri, Kasai, Kasai Oriental, North Kivu and Kinshasa and four emergency interventions (Kasai Oriental, Equateur, Maniema and Sankuru).
Action Against Hunger believes in an integrated approach, articulated around the conceptual framework of malnutrition and intervenes through a multisectoral approach in nutrition-health, food security and livelihoods (FSL), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), mental health and care practices, gender and protection (MCHP-GP), and advocacy
The PUNCH project builds on Action Against Hunger’s extensive experience in humanitarian programming, nutrition and integrated nutrition in more than 50 countries (mainly conflict affected and fragile states), supported by global, regional and local technical experts, as well as logistics, security and compliance teams.
The Programme d’Urgence Nutritionnelle par Coalition Humanitaire (PUNCH) aims both to assist the population through emergency interventions in the event of an acute nutritional crisis, and also to address the consequences of nutritional crises in areas identified by the Consortium where a multi-year approach could improve the nutritional and health status of children under the age of five as well as pregnant and lactating women. In addition to the management of severe acute malnutrition and childhood illnesses components, Action Against Hunger has implemented free pre- and post-natal care, family planning (FP) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as part of this program.
Democratic Republic of Congo
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