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North Kivu: dozens of injured arrived in Goma during intense fighting

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned at the increased intensity of armed clashes in Sake, which is located in the province of North Kivu in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and at the effect this is having on civilians.

As reported by ICRC website, these clashes involve the armed forces of the DRC and their allies on the one side, and the 23 March Movement on the other. On 7 February 2024, fighting resulted in 58 people who had been wounded by weapons – 31 of them civilians – arriving at Ndosho Hospital in Goma.
The ICRC is supporting the hospital’s facility for treating wounded persons, but there are now twice as many patients as beds.
“Patients just kept on arriving on motorcycles and buses. These new arrivals plus the patients we were already treating before 7 February bring the total to 120, whereas we have a capacity of 64 beds.

The lack of space to accommodate all these patients is our biggest challenge.
We have already treated 219 people with weapon injuries since the beginning of 2024” explains Laurent Cresci, the ICRC’s head surgical nurse in Goma.

According to ICRC, the influx of wounded people to Goma’s CBCA Ndosho Hospital is mainly due to the collapse of health facilities in or near the combat zones. Health facilities are unable to triage and stabilize the wounded, and generally handle patients in a dignified and effective manner.

As reported by BBC News, rebels from the ethnic Tutsi-led M23 movement are blocking the two main roads into Goma from the north and the west and preventing produce from getting through.
Goma's population has swelled in recent days with people running from the advancing fighters.

"We are scared of going hungry if the [Congolese army] do not liberate any of the main roads very soon. You can feel the panic here… people are very scared," has declared Mr Boling, a resident of Goma, to BBC.

The situation in the north of the country is degenerating while the fighting shows no sign of stopping. This condition of conflict and instability not only has effects on the total number of deaths and injuries (both military and civilians) but also, as these testimonies report, on many other sectors of the population's life: healthcare, security, availability of water and food.
According to Al-Jazeera, so far, escalating violence in eastern DRC has displaced at least 150,000 people, more than half of them children.


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