Salesians’ Medical Center in DR Congo “transformed into emergency hospital” amid Violence

A sign of hope in the midst of war: a woman gives birth to triplets in the health center of the Don Bosco Ngangi Youth Centre. Credit: Salesian Missions

Members of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have had to transform their medical center “into an emergency hospital”, reaching out to thousands of victims of the ongoing violence in the Eastern part of the country.

A Monday, April 3 report indicates that SDB members “continue with their work” at Don Bosco Ngangi in the Catholic Diocese of Goma amid ongoing violent clashes between the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) and the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels in Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu Province.

“While the province of North Kivu in the DRC is still facing ongoing clashes that have been displacing thousands of people, Salesian missionaries continue with their work,” SDB officials say in the report published by MissionNewswire, the official news service of Salesian Missions, which is the U.S.-based development arm of SDB.

They add, “The medical center has been transformed into an emergency hospital for thousands who have been displaced. The medical team includes a doctor, a laboratory technician, a physiotherapist, a clinical psychologist, two hygienists, and five nurses.”

The medical practitioners provide “both preventive and medical care for those who have been injured and have emergencies,” SDB officials further say. 


The Salesian medical center that was initially set up to provide care for youth began later to provide maternity, consultation, laboratory, hospitalization, prevention, pharmacy, and nutrition services, they further say.

The SDB officials say that the medical services at the center have been of great importance, especially after the addition of 28,000 people who have sought shelter on the center’s fields after fleeing from war-torn areas.

In the first two months of assisting those displaced, Salesian officials say that the medical center “treated 1,702 people, and in the last week of February and the first week of March, care was provided for 766 vulnerable people.”

They add that “a total of 16 women gave birth, nine patients were referred to more specialized facilities and 18 were hospitalized.”

Dorcas Ndibungo, a 36-year-old beneficiary of the Salesian medical services was assisted to safely deliver her triplets.

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In the report, SDB officials say that Ms. Ndibungo “has been at Don Bosco Ngangi since she was displaced in November 2022. She fled Kibumba village in the Nyiragongo territory north of Goma with her eight children.”

They add that Ms. Ndibungo has been seeking shelter at the center since then and was fortunate to have the medical center to aid in her pregnancy and delivery.

The medical personnel at the center get help from the intercession of St. Don Bosco who is always available to help the victims “wherever there is need, misery, violence, and suffering,” the Director of the center, Fr. Jean-Pierre Muhima, has been quoted as saying.

Fr. Muhima acknowledges with appreciation the partnership the center has received from various entities, including the International Volunteers for Development (VIS), Save the Children, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, among others.

“We started with the means we had at our disposal. We have also been fortunate to have benefactors in the field of health, including Salesian Mission offices around the world,” he says.


SDB officials say that the partnership with VIS provides a more long-term solution for those who have been displaced, and make reference to a project they say is being launched to facilitate the reaching out to the victims of the violence in DRC. 

They say that the project seeks “to provide more provisions and psychological support to the people including education for minors.”

In a separate report, Don Bosco Youth Center in Kazembe, Zambia, has launched a goat-rearing project to be used as a source of food for the children at the center.

The Rector of the Salesian community in Zambia, Fr. Jacek Garus, has been quoted as saying that the project is a step towards self-sufficiency. 

“Instead of buying meat in the market, we can produce it here at our facilities. It can also become a source of income for us as goat meat is very popular here,” Fr. Garus says in the Monday, April 3 report by MissionNewswire on Zambia.

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