Doctors Worldwide

Rural Maternal Healthcare


More than half a million women die each year due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of these deaths are preventable.

Although one of the most resource rich countries in the world, DR Congo has also the distinction of having some of the worst health and poverty indicators. It’s vast scale and distance, almost the size of Europe, makes health care provision a real challenge.

Doctors Worldwide worked in DR Congo from 2004 to 2010. Working alongside a local charity called RADEM, our work focused on building the capacity of this initially small NGO to becoming one of the leading health organisations in the region. From a small rented urban clinic from which they were working providing care in 2004 we helped build an organisation running 2 urban and 4 rural primary care and maternal health units.

Over 4,000 births took place at our centres with only one maternal death (compared to 1 in 80 across the region). We provided skilled maternity care ensuring that any complications are dealt with quickly and efficiently, with cesarean sections available even in the rural clinics. Over 50,000 consultations took place across the centres providing routine and emergency care across all ages, dealing with a wide range of problems. Our centres were also integrated into the national health network and we provided training for 500 Congolese medical staff seconded by the Ministry of Health and the School of public health.