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UAE humanitarian group pledges US$1M to boost healthcare in Congo

Sharjah’s Big Heart Foundation will help construct a new hospital and boost numbers of medics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A UAE humanitarian group pledged life-changing support for thousands of women and children in a crisis-hit African nation.

The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) will invest $1 million (Dh3.67m) to boost healthcare services in some of the most deprived areas of the Kasai-Oriental province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The cash boost will provide vital support to hard-hit families who are exposed to malnourishment while facing an increased threat of violence, disease and instability in their daily lives.

TBHF has joined forces with UK-based aid organisation, Save the Children, to fund the major project, entitled “Transforming the Lives of Children in the DRC”.

A fully-equipped health centre will be constructed, with staff given essential training, to meet the needs of the community.

As part of the initiative, TBHF aims to bolster staffing levels at 60 health centres across Kasai-Oriental in an effort to drive up healthcare standards.

“With one in five children in the DRC dying of preventable diseases before their fifth birthday, TBHF has decided to do its part in changing this grim reality by enhancing children’s and women’s accessibility to quality healthcare,” said Mariam Al Hammadi, director of TBHF.

“The overarching aims of the project are also aligned with TBHF’s expanding goals of offering longer-term intervention and support that can help our beneficiaries to become active change-makers in their communities.”

The DRC, a central African nation larger than Western Europe, has vast reserves of mineral wealth, but its 80 million citizens are some of the poorest in the world.

Many children in the country have little or no access to basic provisions such as healthcare and education.

DRC is also battling the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, which has claimed the lives of more than 2,200 people since August, 2018.

The World Health Organization has more than 800 staff on the ground supporting the Government-led response together with national and international partners.

TBHF was established in May, 2015 by Sheikha Jawaher bint Muhammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi.

The organisation has since delivered health, education and emergency aid to more than one million people in more than 20 countries.

Source: The National

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