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Bend Physician to Help Congolese Refugees

by Barbara Agnew | Dec 05, 2013

(BEND, OR Jan 5, 2010) This Wednesday, a Bend volunteer doctor with Medical Teams International departs to care for families fleeing the rebel fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dr. Randall Jacobs will work in a Ugandan refugee camp where thousands of Congolese people are seeking medical care, food, clean water, and shelter. Jacobs, a physician at Bend Memorial Clinic, will serve a month-long assignment in Uganda. He joins Colleen Bradley, a volunteer nurse from Montana, and additional staff from the agency’s Ugandan office.

Media: Dr. Jacobs will be available for interviews/photos prior to his 12:05 p.m. departure, Wednesday, Jan. 7, at the Horizon/Alaska ticket counter, Roberts Field/Redmond Airport.

Aid workers estimate that more than 5.4 million people have died in this decade-long conflict which primarily affects the central African countries of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Uganda. Up to 45,000 people continue to die each month—most of them women and children—from easily treated diseases like malaria, upper respiratory conditions and chronic diarrhea. These diseases run rampant in the camp environment where sanitation and hygiene are marginal.

“The situation in the Congo is heartbreaking,” says Joe DiCarlo, director of emergency relief at Medical Teams International. “Entire villages are burned. Children kidnapped; the women raped. Even if families survive the rebel attacks, they face additional hardships and health challenges due to the lack of medicines, adequate shelter and basic necessities.”

Jacobs and Bradley will carry in nearly $15,000 in antibiotics, bandages, anti-malarial medication when they arrive. This past December, Medical Teams International sent more than $560,000 in medical supplies to help families affected by the Congo conflict.

To contribute to the Congo Relief Fund, please visit our secure donation page; call 1-800-959-4325; or mail funds to Medical Teams International, PO Box 10, Portland, OR 97207-0010.