Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Official Name Democratic Republic of the Congo
Total area 2,344,858 sq km
Population 75,507,308 (July 2013 est.)
Capital City Kinshasa



Also known as DR Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country located in central Africa. By area,it is the second largest country in Africa and the eleventh largest in the world. It is also the nineteenth most populous country in the world, fourth most populous in Africa, as well as the most populous Francophone country. Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability.


The Democratic Republic of the Congo is well-endowed with natural resources – is slowly recovering after decades of decline. Due to post-independence corruption, combined with country-wide instability and conflict, the national output and revenue has beenintensely reduced and external debt increased.
Considerable economic activity occurs in the informal sector, however, it is not replicated in GDP statistics.
Development has been slow to reach the central region of the country, although clear changes are evident in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi. The uncertainty of legal framework, lack of transparency in governmental policies and corruption have resulted in long-term problems for the mining sector and for DRC econom.
The mining sector is the main source of most export income, and has witnessed an improvement, boosting the GDP growth in recent years.


The development of DR Congo has been limited by the issue of health problems. These include HIV/Aids, Malaria, polio outbreaks, cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, the Ebola virus, and hemorrhagic fever. Many insect-borne illnesses are present as well.
The present health facilities are severely restricted, and medical supplies are in short supply. In addition,amplestock of prescription or over-the-counter drugs in pharmacies is also not commonly available.
The country has the world’s second-highest rate of infant mortality after Chad. Eastern Congo remains under the influence of unrest and fighting among tribes and warlord armies to control diamonds and other minerals.

Major infectious diseases:
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria, plague, and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
Water contact disease:schistosomiasis

Malaria Status

An estimated 40% of outpatient visits by children below five years of age are due to malaria, as well as a 40% overall malaria-related mortality rate for children under five, are indicators of the severity of malaria is a major health problem in the DRC.
There are serious challenges facing the implementation of large-scale malaria control activities, due to the poor health infrastructure. It is assessed that only a quarter of the population have access to health facilities. An additional complicating factor is that external donor support of health activities in the DRC is fragmented geographically. For 2012, the PMI provided malaria prevention and treatment services to a total of 136 health zones in five provinces, representing 26 percent of all health zones in the country.

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