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The Barceló Foundation and Monkole Friends Association gives a “baby check” to 50 most needed mothers from the capital, Kinsasa, and their 50 newborns.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo health care is operated on a private basis; each patient must bear the full cost of their treatment, so only 28% of the population can afford it. In fact, the inhabitants of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods of the capital, such as Kindele, Herady or Kimbondo, have never been in a hospital.
For this reason, pregnant women cannot asume the cost of medical tests or childbirth and decide to give birth at home. The result is that every year 30.000 women die during the childbirth and more than 20.000 newborns lose their lives after delivery.
To palliate this situation, the Monkole Friends Association and the Barceló Foundation have started the “Mama’s Pass” project at the Monkole Hospital Centre, through which pregnant women pay a fixed fee of 50 euros, and they recieve medical assistance during pregnancy, childbirth (whether natural or by caesarean section) and postpartum, including all the relevant medical tests. In addition, if their children are born with health problems they also have included the stay in the hospital’s neonatal or pediatric ICU service and if they are healthy they receive free medical assistance until their first year.
Perpetua, one of the project’s beneficiaries, widow and with a son, recently gave birth to triplets by caesarean section. “When I was seven months pregnant, my husband was murdered by bandits. In this situation, I don’t know what I would have done without the Mommy Pass. I thank God, the Monkole Friends Association and the Barceló Foundation for making it possible. Thank you very much.”
For her part, Céline Tendobi, manager of the gynaecology and obstetrics service at Monkole hospital, says “being a woman in the Congo is not easy; most have not gone to school, have not studied and do not feel fulfilled. That is why we struggle every day to provide them with specialized health care so that they can regain their dignity and feel part of society.”