Refugee Health Vancouver is a practical resource to support clinicians who provide care to refugees in British Columbia.
Need a patient handout on diabetes in Farsi? Looking for a Spanish-speaking dentist in Vancouver who offers reduced fees? Not sure what convention refugees are, why they would flee Myanmar, or how you can bill to care for them? This site pulls together the answers for you.
For comments, suggestions and corrections please contact us.Close [-]
The Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, is one of central Africa’s most conflicted countries. It is the third largest country in Africa, with Sudan and Algeria leading in size. The Congo is a vast country with immense natural resources. This tremendous mineral wealth has fuelled violent conflict by opposing powers for decades. Congo is currently enduring a humanitarian crisis. Congo’s persistent conflict has pitted government officials against rebels, many of whom are supported by Uganda and Rwanda. In 2003 a peace treaty and the formation of a transitional government promised a road to recovery for war torn Congo. Conflict however, continues to heighten particular in Eastern provinces.
According to a BBC 2011 report, the Congolese war has claimed at least 3 million lives. This estimate includes direct mortality from militia violence, as well as the indirect consequences of war: including malnutrition and disease.
Capital city: Kinshasa
Official language: French
Recognized national languages: Lingala, Kikongo, Swahili, Tshiluba
It is estimated that 242 languages are spoken in the Congo. Of these, only the above are considered national languages.
Population: 70, 916, 439 (2010 estimate)
Currency: Congolese Franc
Main Exports: Diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt
Religion: Christianity is the major dominant religion across the Congo. 90% of Congolese practice Christianity. Denominations include Roman Catholic,55%, and protestant, 35%. Animism accounts for 2.4%. There is also an Islamic presence at 5-10% of Congo’s population.
(Political Information Retrieved from the CIA World Factbook)
Infant Mortality Rate: 78.43/1 000 live births
(Congo has the world’s second highest rate of infant mortality, after Chad)
Life Expectancy at Birth: 55.33 years
Male: 53.9 yearsFemale: 56.8 years
Total fertility rate: 5.24 children born/woman
According to a 2004 study published by UNICEF, pneumococcal disease (causing pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis) is the second leading cause of child death under the age of 5. Pneumococcal disease is second only to malaria. In 2011 the pneumococcal vaccine was introduced in Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, as well as two of Congo’s 11 provinces. Similar pneumococcal vaccine programs are being rolled out in Guyana, Kenya, Mali, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone and Yemen. These have been funded by the Global Alliance for Vaccines.
(Definition – age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana or Tshiluba)
Total Population: 67.2%
The Congo is one of Africa's largest producers of cannabis. Cannabis is mostly consumed domestically with little trafficking outside of the Congo’s borders.
According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) there are currently 444,054 Congolese refugees residing in Africa. This statistic is likely a vast underestimate due to the inefficiencies associated with refugee data collection. The following is an outline of where Congolese refugees are residing:
There are 1.4 million internally displaced persons within the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most IDP's are currently residing in eastern provinces.
Congo's sexual violence against women and girls has caused international outrage since 1996, yet little has been done to abate this. Rape has been used as a weapon of war for over a decade. It is now estimated that hundreds of thousands of Congolese women have been raped in attacks terrorizing civilians. Researchers from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative have analyzed data which recorded rapes between 2004 and 2008 (4,311 cases). According to their study 60 percent of rapes committed during this time were considered 'gang rapes'. These were carried out by multiple armed men attacking victims within their homes during the hours between sunset and sunrise. According to Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, “Eastern Congo remains one of the most shocking ongoing examples of rape as a weapon of war”.
A Vaccine for the very young takes aim at bacterial diseases - The New York Times, published April 11th, 2011
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Profile – BBC News
Timeline – The Democratic Republic of Congo – BBC News
Translated educational handouts on health issues.
Dentists, physiotherapists and other community resources who speak other languages, accept IFH or offer reduced fees.