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Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

S.T.A.B.L.E. Program – Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

  Google Map of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Teaching Team

Cynthia Jensen RN, MSN, CNS, CCRN
S.T.A.B.L.E. Lead Instructor and Neonatal Outreach Educator UCSF Children’s Hospital
Jennifer Parson RN, BSN UCSF Children’s Hospital
David Wanderman MD Department of Pediatrics UCSF Children’s Hospital
Andrea Marmor MD Department of Pediatrics San Francisco General Hospital

Jennifer Parsons teaching how to bag-mask ventilate to one of the physicians

The International Pediatric Outreach Project (IPOP) was founded in 2002 by two pediatricians, Dr. Theodore Ruel and Dr. Sadath Sayeed, with the broad aim of improving the health of children in developing countries through direct and lasting collegial relationships with local health providers. The strategy of IPOP is to assist these providers in addressing what they consider the most pressing problems of child health in their communities through education, research and material support.

Bedside teaching
Reviewing principles of post-resuscitation stabilization with a bedside nurse

Armed with a generous donation of books and supplies from the S.T.A.B.L.E. program, our team from San Francisco travelled to Heal Africa Hospital in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to provide a week of medical and nursing education with a focus on neonatal resuscitation and stabilization. Approximately 50 students attended the first class and by weeks end we had upwards of 150 participants from Goma and neighboring communities. We were unable to cover the entire S.T.A.B.L.E. learner course for a multitude of reasons (rain, time constraints, availability of translators) but we were able to provide parts of the curriculum and look forward to returning to Congo so we can continue to reinforce what we have taught and also expand on those concepts.

Blood pressure lecture
Blood pressure lecture

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country that has endured more than its share of strife. War, poverty, disease, gender violence and internal displacement of citizens fleeing conflict are some of the issues that the Congolese deal with on a daily basis. In 2002, the volcanic eruption of Mount Nyiragongo covered Goma with lava making the roads impassable and the soil unusable. Shortly after we left, a plane crashed in a highly populated area in Goma, killing passengers and local residents. 93 people were admitted to Heal Africa Hospital overwhelming the staff and depleting the entire supply of Tetanus vaccine and saline. Even in the face of this crisis, the Heal Africa staff rallied to aid crash victims. Their strength and resilience is amazing and inspiring.

Cynthia Jensen and children at Heal Africa Hospital
Cynthia Jensen and children at Heal Africa Hospital

One member of our team, Jennifer Parson RN, stayed in Congo for 10 weeks to help create an intensive care nursery at Heal Africa Hospital. Jennifer has done an amazing job starting with an empty room that is now a growing unit. She has been training a core group of nurses to care for this special population. IPOP will continue to mentor and support our colleagues with the shared goal of improving outcomes for mothers and babies in Congo.

Heal Africa MDs and mannequin
Heal Africa MDs and mannequin

Materials donated by The S.T.A.B.L.E. Program:

  • 20 Learner Manuals
  • 20 CD-ROM Slide Programs
  • 20 Bedside Quick Reference Cards
  • 20 Physical Exam and Gestational Age Assessment CD-ROMs
  • 2 Cardiac Module CD-ROM Slide Programs
  • 4 Cardiac Module Handbooks

First patient admitted to the NICU

Babies with their Mom�s in the NICU

Physicians rounding in the NICU


The S.T.A.B.L.E. Program