Tags / Survivor
Never Lose Touch, Fight Ebola filmed by Daniel Van Moll, produced by TTM is a story of a painful fight against a deadly disease. It is also the story of a brand willing to report on the necessity to fight Ebola without losing touch, without losing the sense of belonging to a community. This is the story of PURELL Lebanon broadcasting images shot by a videojournalist in Liberia in order to emphasize on the necessity of hygiene.
Our hands are the immediate contact we have with other people; our hands help us never lose touch with our community.
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
After experiencing the deadliest war since World War 2, healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in disarray and millions of people are relying on shamans and spiritual healers to treat their physical and psychological disorders. The absence of infrastructure and health care facilities, combined with a lack of faith in western-style medical treatment, means that most patients go to local shamans or radical Christian ‘houses of prayer’ instead of hospitals. Many of these ‘traditional’ health practitioners believe that mental and physical disorders are the result of witchcraft or demonic possession, and thus condone the use of highly unorthodox methods to ‘extract’ the illness or 'demon'. In the DRC, western-style health institutions are regarded only as a last-ditch solution. This attitude has only exacerbated the endemic and led to many deaths from treatable diseases.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Minister Moise Munyuabumba runs the 8th CEPAC Galilaya Church, a 'house of prayer', which belongs to the Pentecostal movement. Pentecolism is a form of Christianity that emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit and the direct experience of the presence of God by the believer. Minister Munyuabumba has been using religion to try and heal the mental and physical disorders of the people who come to his church.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Here Minister Moise Munyuabumba is giving a sermon at the house of prayer. Every saturday people come to him in the hope of being healed. They believe in divine healing through prayer and consider all illness a consequence of the sin of man.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Minister Munyuabumba tries to treat Beat Mekarubamba, who has breast cancer. The Minister says she has cancer because she is the second wife of a polygamist and that she will only be healed if she accepts her sin.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. This is Lwanda Binwa, a regular at the 8th Cepac Galilaya Church. She began to have prophetic visions about Beat Mekarubamba, the woman with breast cancer (previous picture). She went into a trance and was making prophecies for around 15 minutes.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Men pray at Minister Munyuabumba's church.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Nyota Kanyere says that thanks to Minister Moise Munyuabumba, she was cured of madness.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Isaac Rwanamiza is a traditional healer from the Bakumu tribe. These shamanic healers are recognized by the Congolese Government and supported by the Ministry of Health.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Mark Ndibakunri is 11 years old and has elephantiasis. According to local healer Isaac Rwanamiza, this is because Mark stepped on a branch that had a spell on it. On the bed are various objects used in the healing process.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Isaac Rwanamiza treats 11-year-old Elephantiasis patient Mark Ndibakunri by “removing” the bad spirits through his totem. According to Isaac, evil spirits are the cause of the Elephantiasis from which the boy is suffering. Isaac sees many patients daily and can charge up to $70 per session. Healers are well respected within their communities and have the blessing of local authorities.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Here Isaac is performing another spell on Mark to remove the elephantiasis. He did not say what the bottle was for, but the twine tied around the legs is meant to “trap” the illness and avoid it spreading around the body.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Dr. Moise Mbusa is the head doctor at 'Tulizo Letu', or 'Our Comfort', a mental health hospital run by the Brothers of Charity. He is the only properly trained doctor working at the institution. All patients must be seen by him and, if medication is needed, he is the one who prescribes it. Some are required to take medication in order to live. Difficulties arise in remote areas because many are forced to travel long distances by foot just to get their medication, and this can compromise their treatment.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Electroencephalography (EGG) enables the detection of epilepsy and other brain-related injuries. Patients come and sit with sensory pads attached to their heads for around ten minutes, while a specialist monitors their brain activity. In this case this girl was fine. She had come in with her parents for an epilepsy check but was not a patient of the hospital.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Kome Katenga is a patient of the 'Tulizo Letu' mental institution. He joined the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL) in the first Congo War when he was just 16. Led by Laurent Kabila, the ADFL was known for its brutality and the recruitment of child soldiers. In 2002, Kome started drinking. He has been admitted into mental institutions seven times since.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. A feeling of insecurity often increases the effects of mental health disorders. Despite the effort made by international and local NGOs, Western-style psychotherapy and psychiatric treatments are virtually nonexistent in the DRC.
Goma, Norht Kivu, DRC. Deo Kakule is a paranoid schizophrenic. He burned his house down after the fighting forced his mother to leave. Deo is a patient 'Our Comfort'.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Ushindi was raped by her cousin when she was 14 years old. With over 1000 women raped every day, the DRC is known as the rape capital of the world. According to these numbers, up to 39% of the population could have suffered sexual abuse at some point in their lives. Ushindi is a patient at 'Our Comfort'.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Abimana Lushombo suffers from epilepsy and is a patient at Our Comfort. The ongoing conflict impoverishes the region, creating unemployment that drags Goma´s youth to drug and alcohol abuse. Side effects may include seizures, depression, hallucinations or schizophrenia.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. A nurse at Our Care sorts through prescriptions. Mental illness, and the institutions that care for those who suffer from it, do not always get the same support as other health sectors. Institutions like the one run by the Brothers of Charity have to find way to support themselves through donations and their network in Europe.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. The woman in this picture is Mahombi Mungubijira suffers from schizophrenia. Her mother Charlotte (next picture) stays at the facility to care for her. Most families are not able to afford the costs of treatment. Cases like schizophrenia require close monitoring and cannot always be treated in the way they should. Because the facility is so low on staff, family members are always asked to help out with the care of their loved ones.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Charlottle Habanuwg (left) stays at the psychiatric facility to take care of her schizophrenic daughter Mahombi (right). Our Care does not have enough staff to take care of all the patients and so, when possible, family members like Charlotte stay and keep constant watch over their relatives.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Christine Kahindo was raped by five soldiers while on the way to her parents house. Most of these women are abandoned by their husbands after they are raped. The husbands think that their wives are culpable and consider them damaged goods. They are forced to leave their homes and end up in refugee camps. Christine is now a patient at Our Care.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Didier believes he was bewitched by someone close to him. Most Congolese, coming from rural areas, believe in demonic causes of mental illness. However, Didier's mental illness is being treated with western style medical care at Our Comfort.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Some patients like Deo arrive at the mental institution wearing leg-irons. These cases normally come from remote areas where there is no medical assistance. They are too dangerous to be left alone and sometimes the families resort to extreme measures to control them.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Jaqueline is a displaced refugee from the war and a resident at Our Comfort. She suffers from schizophrenia and does not know where her family is. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by mid 2013, the ongoing armed conflict in the east has resulted in 2.6 million internally displaced refugees.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. 'L´École de Vie' is a school for mentally disabled children, run by the Brothers of Charity. Families who can afford it put their children in this institute, the only one of its kind in the region. As with adults, some children are dangerous and require constant surveillance.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. This is nine year old Aganze Dagano Levi having a kinesiotherapy session at the École de Vie. Kinesiotherapy is a specialized area of medicine in which exercise and movement are used as the primary form of rehabilitation. It´s his first year in this school. Random attacks from rebel groups create stressful situations for pregnant women that can damage the fetus permanently. This creates an increasing number of children born with mental and physical handicaps.
Goma, Norht Kivu. Mentally disabled children, like Siuzione, are known as “biwelele”, which means "useless idiots" in Swahili. They are rejected by society and sometimes ever their own families. Incapable of working or getting married, they become a burden on the community.
Goma, Norht Kivu. Mental illness keep rising in Eastern Congo. Modern medicine has to struggle with traditional healers and praying houses. Easily preventable or treatable diseases become more complicated to treat because of late diagnosis.
Goma, North Kivu, DRC. Lack of infrastructure makes the treatment of mental illness incredibly difficult. North Kivu, an unstable region since 1994, only has one psychiatric facility that runs without government support.
Shahnaz Begum, 36, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly fire that permanently damaged her eye. She sustained serious spinal injuries from the fall.
Hasan Mia, 30, jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when it went ablaze two years ago. He still struggles with mental illness.
Shama, 20, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the fire that killed 117 people in 2012. She sustained serious injuries to her leg and the right side of her body that still cause her complications two years later.
Rowshonara, 37, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly blaze. She still fights to overcome the deep mental and emotional trauma.
Khadeza Akter Sume, 20, jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when a fire killed 117 people in 2012. She still struggles to cope with the trauma.
Anzu, 45, jumped from 4th floor of the Tazreen Fashion building, which burnt down in 2012 killing 1167 people. Two years later, she is haunted by the fire and has trouble sleeping.
Mahinur, 32, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly blaze. Two years later, she remains psychologically scarred by the traumatic event.