The central problem underlying this project is poor access for the population to mental health care in the Eastern part of the DRC, and, in particular, the South Kivu province, whose capital is Bukavu, situated at the southern tip of Lake Kivu.
Mental health problems have been caused and exacerbated by wars and armed conflict over the last three decades: namely, Mobutu's dictatorial regime (1965 to 1997), the Rwandan genocide (1994) that caused a massive population displacement ‘next door’ into the Eastern DRC. The so-called 'liberation' wars (1996-7, and 1998-2003) led by Kabila supported, in particular, by Rwanda and Uganda, led to the current political instability with its repercussions. These wars have impacted and are still impacting negatively on the psychosocial health of an entire nation.
Mental illness has worsened significantly due to the increase of sexual violence against women and children, in particular, the abuse of psychoactive substances (hard drugs, alcoholic beverages), the impact of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides that this region is susceptible to, and the numerous head injuries caused by road accidents due to the poor state of roads and vehicles.
In view of the above, the Anglican Diocese of Bukavu through its mental health and trauma programme wishes to set up, on the grounds of its existing hospital a specialized mental health centre serving the South Kivu Province in Eastern DR Congo.
The Centre will focus on providing a high standard of mental health care, improved diagnosis and treatment, as well as the training of mental health practitioners (psychiatrists, neurologists, general practitioners, clinical psychologists, psychologist-psychotherapists, nurses, psychosocial assistants).