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Short Communication Open Access

Medical Sociology 2017 : Insights into a united states of america-based congolese diaspora organization’s initiative to establish and operate a health centre in favor of a community of internally displaced persons in the democratic republic of the congo: political and social motivators, milestones, facilitators and inh

Abstract

 While members of the African Diaspora have been abundantly lauded as significant contributors to the economy of their countries of origin, notably through their financial remittances, little is known about their collective efforts and challenges to mobilize and establish health care facilities in Africa. Yet there are many primary health care infrastructure development initiatives undertaken successfully or not by various individuals or organizations in the African Diaspora with the aim of bringing basic health care services to the under-served African communities. These initiatives have not yet been sufficiently documented. This lack of documentation prevents optimal involvement of the African Diaspora, causes many actors to repeat mistakes they could have otherwise avoided, and blocks theory formulation and testing in this domain. This case study is aimed at addressing some of these shortcomings, notably by describing, from an insider’s perspectives, the efforts deployed and the challenges faced by Leja Bulela Inc, a United States of America-based Congolese Diaspora organization, to establish and operate a health center in favor of a community of internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We explore the political and sociological forces at play in both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the USA to prompt first the creation of Leja Bulela and then the establishment of the Kalala Muzeu health center in Mbujimayi, capital of the Eastern Kasai province (DRC). After critically analyzing the structural and functional features of these two entities, we uncover and identify their inherent challenges. Finally, we propose key best practices that African Diaspora organizations can, with some adjustments based on their respective parameters such as country of residence and country or origin, follow to grow into highly performing organizations and, eventually, to more expeditiously and more efficaciously create and operate quality primary health care facilities in Africa.

 Bukonda

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