The Faculty of Medicine at Kinshasa University

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Kinshasa is one of the largest medical education schools in Africa. Every year approximately 200 new doctors are graduated, mostly from DRC, but also from Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville and Angola. Unfortunately, the Faculty has suffered from the difficult economic situation affecting the DRC since the 1990s.

Medical genetics is one of the most important specialties missing from the study program. Since 1973, medical doctors have not received any genetic education –lectures or lab training–. Modern medicine relies strongly on genetic knowledge to cure patients. However, DRC not only faces a complete lack of access to diagnostic technologies, but also a need of up-to-date scientific knowledge and training in medical genetics. As a result, mystical and traditional beliefs –evil spirits or witches– are often blamed as the causes of disease, thus delaying diagnostic and treatment.

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The future and why your support is needed

We started this campaign because Dr. Gerrye Mubungu, a paediatrician at the University of Kinshasa, has set herself the ambitious goal of implementing a new study program in medical genetics at the Faculty of Medicine. To do this, she has searched for the best training to establish a Genetic school.

FAIMER foundation in Philadelphia seeks to improve the health of communities by improving health professions education. She has received an International Fellowship at FAIMER, which will cover most of the enrolment, but a sum of CHF 6000 is still missing. This amount will cover tuition fees and her travel expenses to Philadelphia.

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Expected outcomes

This project aims at improving health care in DRC by providing doctors with a strong background and broader view on medical genetics. Dr. Mubungu will be able to put into practice a genetic course at the Faculty of Medicine, thus enabling young medical doctors to clinically recognise a genetic disease and prescribe genetic testing. They will be able to combat false mystical believes by offering appropriate treatment and support to families.

By backing us, you will give Gerrye a unique opportunity to implement a genetics study program at the University Clinics of Kinshasha, which will span over years and help many other doctors to deal with genetic diseases.

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