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DRC: Older people and healthcare

18 Sep 2013

An older person receives free dental treatment in DRC. (c) Mireine Bulonza/HelpAge InternationalPart of HelpAge's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) focuses on providing healthcare for older people.

Our work in this area has been successful thanks, in part, to partnerships we've established with health centres and organisations working in the North Kivu region. 

It is in this context that, with the Association of Psychosocial and Mental Health Projects (APPS), we have intervened to provide dental care for older people living in the Mugunga III camp for displaced people, located 15 km from the city of Goma in North Kivu.

Thanks to our advocacy work, APPS and their mobile dental clinic have treated 315 older people in Mugunga III. Dr Jean de Dieu Ndoko is the head of the dental programme at APPS, who have over ten years' experience working in the DRC.

Free consultations and medication

Last week, I went to spend a day at a social centre for older people in Mugunga III camp with the APPS team. I saw first-hand the dental treatment organised by HelpAge that older people are receiving.

About 95% of older people are affected by dental diseases. According to research carried out by dentists, chronic and excruciating headaches are often symptomatic of dental problems and can become extremely severe if left untreated. They can also lead to mental, as well as physical problems.

This September, APPS and HelpAge identified 315 older people suffering from dental diseases who have now received medical consultations. All these older people will benefit from treatment and care from APPS. There will also be follow up appointments and appropriate medicine will be provided to patients.

Find out more about our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Author profile

Mireine Bulonza
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
Job title: Communications Officer

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.