I made it back to Kinshasa. After 37 years I wondered what I would recognize. As we drove through the city there were moments of recognition. Yet the city has grown so much – and deteriorated so much – that those moments were all too few.
What is not new is the poverty. Indeed that seems worse than when I left. We went to one area yesterday where the roads were all sand and dirt and the conditions were very bad.
We did visit one family where the 2 year old boy had cataracts in both eyes. The family lived in a tiny shack and the mother did not know how she was going to feed her children. This boy was scheduled for surgery but was too malnourished for the surgery. It does show the importance of the comprehensive program. Surgery is only one step in giving this family hope.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the richest countries of Africa with its many resources. Yet the poverty and amount of people with disabilities is one of the highest.
In 37 years you would expect progress. Surely the resources have been taken. What happened to benefits for the people?