DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO – GE Healthcare, a leading global medical technology and digital solutions innovator, has announced a partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo to deliver mobile X-ray units and ECG machines to help efforts to fight COVID-19.

The essential medical equipment will play an important role in supporting the diagnosis and the management of COVID-19, in a country where access to medical technology is extremely limited.

However, the country has made measurable progress in recent years, due to improved leadership, coordination and investments in priority health issues by the government of DRC and international partners.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, X-ray has emerged as a critical tool to help identify the different pulmonary abnormalities symptomatic to the disease, particularly in areas around the world with limited access to reliable real-time RT-PCR COVID testing.

ECG devices provide clinical tools for physician to identify patient at risk for cardiac disease and track important changes in the ECG that may occur over time.

GE Healthcare will equip 82 sites around the country with innovative mobile X-ray & ECG technology and will work collaboratively with users to ensure they are fully trained on how to get the best out of the equipment and provide the highest quality of care for their patients.

Since the onset of the pandemic, DR Congo has managed to conduct between 500 to 1000 tests per day, and has so far reported 40,835 cases and 924 deaths.

Speaking during the announcement, Dr Baabo Kubuya, Coordinator of the Management Unit of the Healthcare System Development Project said the technologies offered by GE will be a key asset in the fight against Covid-19 as well as improve access and quality of patient care.

We are delighted to be partnering with the Ministry of Health on this excellent example of care innovation aimed at improving health outcomes for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. We look forward to working closely with local healthcare professionals to help them fully realize the benefits for their patients of this potentially life-saving medical equipment” says Martial Kouadio, Regional Projects Sales Manager for GE Healthcare.

GE Healthcare enables clinicians to make faster, more informed decisions through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services, supported by its Edison intelligence platform.  

The support from GE comes at a time when major security threats in the country cost it one of the most prominent hospitals, Boga General Referral Hospital (GRH), which is supported by /Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

This incredibly violent attack prevents the Boga hospital from running and caring for very vulnerable people, even though it was the last remaining healthcare facility in the health zone for the more than 80,000 people who relied on it.

Everything went up in smoke in a matter of hours even as we were tirelessly claiming how vital this facility is for the region’s inhabitants”, says Frédéric Lai Manantsoa, MSF head of mission in DRC.