Where do you find care in conflict?

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Thursday, 6 December, 2012

Yvonne and Yvette are three years old. They are twins and both seriously ill. Their bodies have become extremely weak as they are suffering from thin, bloody diarrhoea. Once happy and playful children, now they are sapped of energy and in terrible pain.

Helpless and homeless

If life was normal, without the conflict that has now taken over DR Congo, Yvonne and Yvette would have a home, food and clean water. But sadly, they were forced to flee the place they call home. They have no choice but to stay in the camp. It’s not safe to go anywhere else while the fighting is still rampant.

Fearing for the lives of her two precious children, the twin's mother Mamine, felt helpless and lost when she came to the Merlin health clinic in the camp. Their lives have been turned upside down since the fighting began. She had no food or medicine to help her children.

Someone to turn to in crisis

Dr Doddy, a Merlin hero who gave life-saving support says, ‘Lucky we caught this pair in time. Their condition is serious as they have intestinal parasites.'

Bringing a sense of calm within the storm, Merlin swiftly set up a mobile health clinic in the Lac Vert camp near Goma treating displaced people for malaria, diarrhoea and other diseases.

Conflict disrupts people’s lives on every level. The fighting in Goma, DR Congo has changed the lives of thousands, for the worse.

‘Diarrhoea is a real problem here, and is caused by what children eat. They don’t eat well in the camps and eat whatever they can get. This is often unsafe,’ says Dr Doddy.

Camp environments can be unhygienic and having access to medical care is vital. Without the committed Merlin medical team and Dr Doddy , Yvonne and Yvette may not have made it.

After being diagnosed they were given treatment to remove the parasites.  Although it’s hard to know what will happen next in their life with ensuing conflict, their lives have been saved. And most importantly, they are smiling again.