The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

4141.0: Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 12:30 PM

Abstract #51444

Providing Development Assistance in the Midst of Crisis

William C. Clemmer, MD and William C. Clemmer, MD. SANRU Basic Rural Health Project, Ave. de la Justice, Kinshasa-Gombe, Congo-Kinshasa, 243-9939774,

Congo has been in a state of war and crisis for nearly four years. While the needs increase each week, anarchy and insecurity are common in the interior of occupied Congo; making effective relief and lasting development difficult if not impossible.

When is the best time to render assistance; and to start rebuilding what was destroyed? Do we build today, before there is a peace accord and security, to have our work torn down tomorrow? Do we venture into areas where UN peacekeepers will not go, yet where child mortality and morbidity escalate…at what risk if we do and at what expense if we don’t?

Will the fighting ever stop? By waiting for an “opportune moment” do we miss the occasion to render assistance at a critical time? Development is an ongoing process and the arrest of development can be cataclysmic. By stopping development and training and maintenance of health care systems during this four-year period of conflict; how many years will it take to catch up when the situation improves?

This session will relate actual experiences about rendering assistance in the context of Congo’s civil war. We will outline the unique challenges and obstacles in rendering assistance and discuss the risks of moving forward …versus ….the costs of waiting for things to improve.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participants will be able to

Keywords: Health Care Access,

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Rebuilding Primary Health Care and Health Zones in DR Congo

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA