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The impact of scholarships on healthcare in DR Congo

Scholarships for the MAPS programme were awarded to 11 students at the ISSI in DR Congo, giving hard-working students the chance to continue their studies. These scholarships also have a real impact on the state of healthcare in the DRC, encouraging healthcare professionals to pursue further education and training. 

On March 25th the UN made a statement on the current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Sir Mark Lowcock, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief, instability in the country has increased in the last year. When elections for a new president finally took place last December, they followed months of political strife and violence which affected daily life across the country. Additionally, the still continuing Ebola outbreak, now the world’s second-largest declared in August 2018, has contributed to this uncertainty.

The combined impact has been 2 million new internally displaced people in the country over the last year, adding to those displaced across the country thanks to the ongoing conflict in the east. Currently, 7.3 million children are out of school, 3 in 10 women are reported to be victims of sexual violence. Hunger and malnutrition have reached the highest levels on record and there are developing outbreaks of highly contagious measles, yellow fever and cholera and chikungunya, this last being specifically in the zone of Kinshasa where ISSI is located. This ongoing crisis underlines the need for ISSI’s work and the scholarships that you are providing.

The Higher Institute of Nursing Sciences (ISSI) has offered, since 2012, the Master of Health Administration Programme (MAPS), a graduate programme which offers specific training in the use of the Competency-Based Approach (CBA) in the development and implementation of academic or clinical programmes. The MAPS programme aims to train skilled professionals in the development, implementation and implementation of health training programmes and clinical programmes. Despite the political instability, the courses started in January 2019 as planned.

ISSI staff are proud to teach quality, person-centred care to their students. Quality care is the result of reflection and experience, and professionals’ capacity to adapt to the patient’s needs in order to find an appropriate response to each situation. ISSI mentors each student, building on their personal and professional backgrounds so that they can be effective leaders in their current and future roles.

Scholarships for the MAPS programme were awarded to 11 students by the Wonder Foundation. Giving hard-working students the chance to continue their studies changes the life of the student and of those around her. Health professionals, especially nurses, midwives and teachers, have relatively low salaries (between $300 and $500/month), thus the scholarships have a real impact on healthcare in Congo. Here, students explain what these scholarships mean to them:

"After a few years of working as a nurse, I realized that I had limits in terms of professional competence. I looked for an institution, which could offer me a good training. I discovered ISSI. This training helps me to improve my skills and be more professional. This competency-based training uses very attractive methods. I feel like I am participating in my own training."

N.M. (MAPS student at ISSI)

"I would like to advance my career and bring something extra, I have thought about how to achieve universal treatment of these diseases in the country, and I think that this Master's degree will help me to make this dream a reality."

H.K. (MAPS student at ISSI)

"Thanks to the content I received at ISSI, I have already set up a hygiene committee in the hospital where I work. I also try to give a taste for research to the nurses I work with so that we can all improve our practice."

M.M. (MAPS student at ISSI)

"I wanted to contribute more to the development of the nursing profession and the well-being of my country. Thanks to the effort and guidance of many people, and your scholarship. I am walking slowly but surely along this path. I can already see that this training will help me to contribute to improving my work as a nurse in the DRC."

B.L. (MAPS student at ISSI)

Find out more about our work and local partnerships in the Democratic Republic of the Congo here.