Friday, November 11, 2016


Finally, our mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers have now access to health care in Minembwe! Now, not only will people get treated without having to travel for days to reach a hospital, but also our children will be born in hospitals, have birth certificate, and mother-child mortality will greatly be reduced in Minembwe. This is quite a dream coming true for most of us who care deeply about Mulenge development. It is sometimes unbelievable that we now have access to communication including internet in Mulenge and now we have a hospital! Why is that many people from Mulenge are silent about this milestone achievement? Who has played a key role in some of these development initiatives among Mulenge born sons? I will shade my thoughts on this in my last paragraph of this article.
 It has rightly been said that one can leave the village, but the village never leaves in you. Whether we admit it or not, all Banyamulenge who were born and raised in Mulenge, have been so greatly influenced by Mulenge’s cultural and spiritual backgrounds. One thing that always strikes me is how we all fantasise and idealize our past memories and experiences that we have lived in mulenge despite the fact that no one is willing to go back and live there now. While many people who grew up in villages and eventually left for urban areas, usually have negative feelings of village experience and lifestyle.
However, mulenge village lifestyle was strikingly very different from many other villages elsewhere in Africa for various reasons. It should be noted that contrary to many other villages in Africa, mulenge inhabitants had lived plentiful and rich lifestyle. This is a place where we had never or rarely experienced starvation like other places, destitution, and even poverty despite the fact that people had virtually less material possessions. People always had more than enough food, everyone was well dressed, particularly adults both men and women.  
It should be argued though those realities of Mulenge are no longer the mirror of our current Mulenge where crime, vandalisme, solitude and violence are rampant.  
Having said that, not every thing was rose. One of the main challenges was the big issue of absence of healthcare services and infrastructure which is an imperative prerequisite for human development and is an inseparable component for the overall well-being of mankind. This magnificent place had never have a health and appropriate place for women to give birth, where people could be treated efficiently and closer to home. It was a nightmare when one happened to suffer a grave or urgent disease. People had to carry the sick person on their backs and travel some times for days before they could reach a hospital in other centres way far from their homes.
Thank God, now this is no longer the case. Minembwe has now a general hospital! Minembwe bears the load of roughly 30% of the Mulenge population, that means it’s share of all diseases, and maternal conditions of Mulenge population.  We can never thank the Donors who have committed to provide the people of Minembwe with a hospital of their own. Everyone who has come from Mulenge and those who still live there are very much grateful to whoever contributed to that project in one way or another. I cannot in good faith forget to thank Minister Muller Ruhimbika who has visibly been present in almost every good development project coming to Minembwe, quite contrary to his colleagues who only enjoys empty honor and prestige in Kinshasa while completely disconnected to their base. Here I don’t need to cite names, especially that none of our so called politicians and officials never made it their responsibility to bring or contribute to the development of Mulenge. It’s a shame!
It is also important to mention the disappointment of the Congolese government in general which has never committed any public financing of healthcare or other sectors and budgeting schemes for a healthy rural Mulenge. 

Seeing what Muller has done in relatively a short period of time that he has been in the government, one wonders if not having the right people in office was the main factor for our isolation and exclusion from the DRC development agenda after all. For year all the sons of Mulenge who have been in the government including occupying the second highest office of the land, they could not even provide the smallest financing of healthcare services in Mulenge. What a shame!

I am not in any why saying that Muller has personally funded the building of Minembwe hospital. I am not definitely that naive. I know that a large part if not all of the financing came from non-governmental funds. Strangely, it is only during the time that Muller has been in the provincial government that we have seen Minembwe being in some measure at the agenda of rural development. He recently brought an Ambulance for the people of Minembwe, just few months later he returned to Minembwe with a delegation for an official opening of the Minembwe General Hospital. One wonders if that is just a coincidence? I am not one of them. I have seen Muller Ruhimbika devoting all his career on the development of Mulenge before, I have seen Muller taking a tough political stand for what he perceived as the political interest of Banyamulenge even at the highest cost, and he never compromised. The same cannot be said about his counterpart Banyamulenge so called politicians.

The question is given that the DRC is one of the third world nations which are still stuck to out-of-pocket payments to access fundamental health services and regrettably, a universal access healthcare is a mysterious dream. So, what can you and I do to ensure that the Hospital in Minembwe keeps giving quality services including universal healthcare to its population.

Thank you to whoever contributed to Minembwe Hospital. More needs to be done


No comments: