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DRC: Childbirth made free

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DRC: Childbirth made free

This is another major reform of Félix Tshisekedi’s five-year term. After the free primary education launched in 2019, the Sama government is giving itself this other challenge which is effective from Tuesday, September 05, 2023 in Kinshasa.

If free primary education were to remove school fees and other related fees paid by parents, here it is ” free prenatal care, childbirth (whatever its model) and free care for the first month of the newborn“, said the Minister of Health during the official launch ceremony on Monday, September 4.
It should be noted here that 300 hospitals have already been chosen in Kinshasa to administer this care free of charge.

The Minister of Health also indicated that 2190 maternity birth kits are already ready« .

In addition, to the question of whether the Congolese state will be able to cope with this other additional charge, it was noted that the state provides for a budget of 41.700 million dollars per year.

« We have already received all the money“, reassures the Minister of Health.

« The $200 million for the whole country per year already written into the 2024 budget« ,

A number (*151#) is set up to direct women to the hospital closest to their home.

12 provinces will be covered next month and the whole country from January 2024

The Evaluation will be done in one month in order to correct the weak points and consolidate the strong points.

Opinion seems all the same as to the advisability of this reform. Many fear repeated strikes in hospitals because the promised care did not arrive as we experienced with free education at the beginning. Some wanted the Congolese state to begin by improving the socio-professional conditions of doctors and nurses who are regularly on strike before launching free childbirth. Because those who must ensure these free deliveries, if they are not well paid, they will downright sabotage them.

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