Supporting the health care system in South Kivu

Project description

Title: Supporting the health care system in South Kivu
Commissioned by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Financed by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Lead executing agency: Ministère provincial de la Santé Publique au Sud Kivu
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Overall term: 2018 to 2020



The health situation in the province of South Kivu in eastern Congo is precarious and the people suffer from inadequate access to health services. Maternal mortality is extremely high, currently standing at 846 deaths for every 100,000 live births, and infant mortality is the highest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with 139 deaths per 1,000 live births. The shortage of trained health workers is the most acute problem. Other major challenges relate to financing, good governance and management, and the availability and quality of appropriate infrastructure and medical products.


The population’s access to high-quality health care has improved in the eight health zones of the province of South Kivu, particularly with respect to reproductive health and mother and child health. The national structures in the health care system are working more efficiently.


As part of its health programme, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has commissioned GIZ International Services to provide support for the health system in South Kivu. A team of experts based in the provincial capital Bukavu are focusing its activities in the eight health zones of South Kivu – Kaziba, Mwana, Nyangezi, Nyantende, Ruzizi, Uvira, Mubumbano and Minova. The programme cooperates closely with the province’s Ministry of Health, its health department and the health authority.

In relation to health sector financing, the programme assists the health zones and health insurance entities in purchasing medicine, rehabilitating health centres and offering performance-based bonuses.

To strengthen human and institutional capacity in the decentralised health structures, the project primarily promotes good governance, the performance capacity of policy-makers and the management of infrastructure, medicines and health information.


The programme has entered into partnership and service agreements with the health department in the province of South Kivu’s Ministry of Health, along with eight health zones, eight hospitals and 123 health centres. These agreements cover curative and preventive health services and include deliveries, vaccinations, operations and other services. After just a few months the population’s medical care has improved.

The performance-based bonuses that the project pays to health workers in the eight health zones have contributed to increased motivation and the improvement of the health services offered.

The programme has begun to rehabilitate the health care infrastructure in the eight health zones.

In order to strengthen the national health system structures with respect to the management of infrastructure, procurement and medicines, several studies and training activities have been carried out.