In 2020, with an estimated population of 9,000,000 inhabitants, the quality of the healthcare system in the region of North-Kivu still represents a big challenge. Healthcare provision and services face recurring high-priority issues:
- Poor healthcare coverage.
- Poor quality of services and treatments, due to an inadequate quality assurance process (clinical audits, supervision, coaching, mentoring, hospital hygiene, etc.).
- Low availability of healthcare supply and poor financial, geographical and cultural accessibility of healthcare services for the population.
- Low resiliency of healthcare structures against possible epidemics, emergencies, and disasters.
Poor public accountability of healthcare services before the community.
Problems linked to HR in the healthcare system:
In regard to HR training, there is an imbalance between how courses are organised and the even distribution of healthcare professionals, not only between rural and urban environments, but also between healthcare structures in the same provinces. Some categories (general practitioners, nurses) are in overproduction while others are in underproduction (obstetricians, intensivists, pharmaceutical assistants). There is a plethora in urban areas and a deficit in rural areas. Moreover, low wages and the high proportion of healthcare professionals who do not receive either wages or bonuses lead to a lack of motivation and loyalty among professionals.
The proliferation of secondary schools, high schools and universities that do not meet the required standards, along with the lack of an operational education system, are the main causes of the insufficient quality of healthcare professional’s education and service provider’s skills.
Problems linked to medicine, vaccines, and specific inputs:
- Low availability of medicine and specific inputs in health training (called “FOSA”);
- Circulation of low quality medicine;
- Few inspections of pharmaceutical establishments and services;
A blatant lack of data to support the quantification of needs, the lack of information about storage, and the poorly organised and inefficient distribution network.