Health and Safety

Climate

Consulates & Embassies

  • France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have permanent representatives in Goma.
    • France: Alexandre Mirlesse (alexandre.mirlesse@diplomatie.gouv.fr)
    • Netherlands: Hélène Michaud (@helenemichaudHelene.Michaud@minbuza.nl). The office is on Boulevard Kanyamuhanga, former OCHA office.
    • United Kingdom: Riona.Nicholls (Riona.Nicholls@fco.gsi.gov.uk) and Campbell McDade (C-McDade@dfid.gov.uk). 3 Avenue Corniche, first house to your left coming from the border with Rwanda, close to Ihusi Hotel
  • For security reasons, please register with your respective embassy in Kinshasa: France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.

Dangers

  • Traffic might probably be the greatest danger in Goma followed by banditry during the evenings and fires 
  • At night don’t walk anywhere other than the main nightclub zone of Blvd Kanyamuhanga.Places such as Virunga Market are known for pick pocketing.
  • For further guidance, see MONUSCO’s map for out-of-bounds premises (May 2014).
  • For updates on the security situation, call the United Nations Department for Safety and Security, or UNDSS. 099 860 4354.
  • When driving, lock your door and do not leave any valuables in the car.
  • A lot of INGOs have a curfew from midnight onwards. Some are advised to carry their radio at all times.
  • A lot of NGO workers in eastern Congo receive daily security alerts from the International NGO Safety Organization, or INSO.

Dentist:

  • La Fidelite de Goma. Located on Avenue Mont Goma, off the Chukudu roundabout. Mo -Fr 8-16h, Sat 8-13h. 099 319 3479, 081 177 5440, +250 (0)78 310 2091, cliniquelafidelite@yahoo.fr.
  • Dentist ‘La Confiance.’ It’s located on Avenue Kanyamuhanga, close to the Chukudu roundabout. 099 813 0339, 082 583 3552, 089 527 6697.
  • If you need to have your wisdom teeth pulled, you should check in with Pineda Dental Clinic or Legacy Clinics in Kigali. Two expats in Goma went there in 2017 and can recommend it.

Detective:

  • John Baptiste, better known as Jack Bauer, is a well-known detective in town. He miraculously finds people and stolen goods. 099 581 5055, 089 563 3760, 082 117 1242.

Eye specialist:

  • Aide- Vision, next to Hotel Lava Stone on Avenue Mont Goma, off the Chukudu roundabout. 099 866 9818, 099 036 6169.
  • Belle vie.
  • Alternatively, there is Optica, an eye specialist in Kigali. It is located at Kigali City Tower, Ground Floor. +250 727 666 661, +250 722 802 122. Opticakct@mtnonline.rw. P.O. Box 6349 Kigali.

Homosexuality:

Hospitals:

You can only pay cash at the hospitals.

  • Heal Africa: Emergency hours are from 6-7.30h, 12-13h, 18-19h. Below are consultation hours and contact details for each of the doctors at Heal. Address: Rue Lyn Lusi # 111, close to BEDGL roundabout. 099 193 1139, 099 404 2513, 081 313 2342, 099 850 6304, healafrica.jolusi@gmail.com, http://www.healafrica.org. B.P. 319, Goma, Nord Kivu, RDC. Mailing: B.P. 540 Gisenyi, Rwanda.

IMG_5810

  • Kyeshero Hospital: Ambulance: +243 850 891 795; +243 99 548 6922 (Dr. Ngabo), +243 977 076 385, +243 972 793 148, contact@hopitaldekyeshero.org, www.hopitaldekyeshero.org.
  • Hôpital Général de Goma: Route de Sake. 080 851 9634.

Major diseases:

Malaria:

  • Forthcoming.

Post-traumatic stress disorder:

  • If you want to solicit therapy in Goma, I can recommend Mama Chantal (+243 (0)85 370 4104; +243 (0)99 419 5397). She’s a well-experienced psychologist.
  • National Geographic has a good feature about Goma’s only mental health clinic.
  • Reports say PTSD affects up to 30% of humanitarian workers. Which organisations offer help and what can you do to preserve your mental health? Read here.
  • Elie Calhoun blogs about physical and mental self-care for expat aid workers.
  • The blog Political Violence @ a Glance reports on trauma of researchers in war settings.
  • Mental Health Functioning in the Human Rights Field: Findings from an International Internet-Based Survey.
  • Why Physicians Need ‘Right Compassion
  • Managing stress in humanitarian workers: Guidelines for good practice.
  • Secret aid worker: development work broke a piece of me: After years in the field, this humanitarian worker is not desensitised to human suffering; instead, it feels personal.
  • Guardian research suggests mental health crisis among aid workers
  • Aid workers speak out about mental health: ‘I was afraid they would think I couldn’t handle it’
  • New survey examines mental health risks for UNHCR staff
  • The Healthy Nomad

Schistosomiasis (when you go swimming in the lake):

  • “Schistosomiasis (also known as bilharzia, snail fever, and Katayama fever) is a disease caused by parasitic worms of the Schistosoma type. It may infect the urinary tract or intestines. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine. In those who have been infected a long time, liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer may occur. In children it may cause poor growth and learning difficulty. Praziquantel is the treatment recommended by the World Health Organization for those who are known to be infected [You get it at Heal Africa in Goma]. Schistosomiasis affects almost 210 million people worldwide, and an estimated 12,000 to 200,000 people die from it a year (Source: Wikipedia).”

Female Hygiene:

  • You will find tampons and pads at most supermarkets in the city center, including at Ok-Mart and La Promesse. Lube and pregnancy tests are available at Elite Pharmacy.

 

  • Can you buy diva cups in Goma? No.
  • Serena Hotel in Gisenyi offers different types of waxing. See breakdown below.

FullSizeRender

  • Do we have a good gynecologist in town? Yes. Visit Justin at Heal Africa. Rue Lyn Lusi # 111, close to BEDGL roundabout. 099 193 1139, 099 404 2513, 081 313 2342, 099 850 6304, healafrica.jolusi@gmail.com, http://www.healafrica.org. B.P. 319, Goma, Nord Kivu, RDC. Mailing: B.P. 540 Gisenyi, Rwanda.

Insurances:

  • It is essential that you have liability, accident, and health insurance. Choose your provider wisely and pay particular attention to the following questions: Will they cover you in DR Congo? Does your provider have a special policy on war-torn countries? Do you need to keep a residency in your home country and/or do you need an official residency in Congo?
  • Examples: Germany (BDAE, Dr. Walter), United States (AIG Benefit Solutions), Canada (Bridges International Insurance Services)  …. [forthcoming].

Journalists:

  • The Facebook group ‘Medical Logistics for Journalists in Conflict Areas’ provides ample information on medical protection, treatment and logistics for journalists working in hostile environments.

Pharmacies:

  • You find many pharmacies on route de Sake. When buying medicine, check the expiry date.

Police:

  • The headquarters of Goma’s police (PNC) are on route Sake (opposite of Stade de l’Unite; next to Hôpital Général)

Sex:

  • It’s advisable you bring your own buy birth control from home.
  • You can get condoms at Heal Africa and MONUSCO Welfare but they are known to break easily. High-quality condoms can be bought at Elite Pharma in the city center.

  • You can do HIV and STD testing at Heal Africa: Rue Lyn Lusi # 111, close to BEDGL roundabout. 099 193 1139, 099 404 2513, 081 313 2342, 099 850 6304, healafrica.jolusi@gmail.com. B.P. 319, Goma, Nord Kivu, RDC. Mailing: B.P. 540 Gisenyi, Rwanda.
  • The morning-after pill (pilule du lendemain) is available across the counter at – amongst others – Elite Pharma (above), Pharmacie de l’Espoir (and they’re very nice about it), Pharmacie Cafetaar (099 770 4151) right next door. The latter is open until late at night. It should be around $5.
  • On sexual violence in the aid world, I recommend “Shifting the Silence around Rape and Sexual Assault in Aid Culture” by Elie Calhoun; “Secret aid worker: sexual harassment and discrimination in the industry” by The Guardian; and “An Aid Worker Was Raped In South Sudan And The U.N. Did Almost Nothing About It” by Jina Moore.

No sex for MONUSCO

Security companies in Goma:

  • Latlong International: 097 204 5300, 081 004 1500, 099 387 0001, 081 144 2569. Info@latlongcongo.com.
  • KK Security: 081 271 1463.
  • Warrior Security: 099 587 1010, 099 011 0222.
  • Delta Protection: 081 416 5941.
  • Hdw-SD Security: 099 825 96 46, 082 039 1658.
  • GSA Security: 099 008 0000.
  • G4S: 081 623 3798, 099 801 0717.
  • KAMI HSS: 099 349 8025.
  • HADEC: 099 010 6101.
  • Magenya: 099 567 8103, 081 283 1312.

United Nations

  • In danger, call the United Nations Department for Safety and Security, or UNDSS. 099 860 4354.

Vets

  • Safari does a great job on normal vet check-in stuff, and can also kennel your dog for a week or two if you ever need to travel. 099 713 2911 or 099 490 0386.
  • Aristote is another vet: 082 100 1649 or 099 895 5678.
  • Jode Garbe is an American vet living in Kigali. She is also known to occasionally hop over to Gisenyi. She is expensive, but she did a great job. Jode.garbe@rwandanow.org.
  • The park at Karibu Hotel has nice grounds for you to quietly walk your dog.
  • Fanfan is a dog trainer in Goma: +243 975 911 461.
    You can get dog food at Ok-Mart, Sandro and GoShop (it’s pretty expensive, around $40-75 a bag).

Volcano

  • For alerts and general information about the activities of the Nyiraongo and Nyamuragira volcanoes, check the website of the Observatoire Volcanologique de Goma (OVG).

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