14 May 2014

Kinshasa FAQs: Doctors, Hospitals & Other Medical Notes

I've noticed a tendency among folks in Kinshasa to assume that there are no good doctors/clinics/hospitals in this city.  I know I did when I first arrived.  A quick Google search of "doctor sick medicine Kinshasa" does not garner many reassuring hits.  Based on this assumption, people let wounds fester, watch their teeth rot and self-treat with weird medications for any number of semi-diagnosed ailments. 

Many times, of course, cost prevents access to health care in Kinshasa.  



Particularly if you are a normal, non-VIP, non-expat Congolese person.  



This is an issue that I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing about because it's important.  More important than any of the information that I'm doling out in this post today.  If you're interested in reading more, check out this, this, and this.



However, for most of the readers of this blog, cost shouldn't be an excuse for letting your mind and body deteriorate during your DRC stay.  Some things people tell me when I ask them why they haven't been to the doctor yet:
But I don't speak French.
There are no doctors here who know what they're doing.
Somebody told me this horrible story...
I'll have to wait forever.
It's just too complicated.
Yeah, yeah.  I hear you.  But all of these worries can either be overcome with a little old-fashioned gumption or put to rest after you finish reading this post.  So, brace yourself for what I'm pretty sure is one of the most comprehensive, annotated lists of fairly reputable medical contacts in Kinshasa for those of the expat persuasion.

Before I begin:
  • I have marked the doctors and facilities with which I have personal experience with a *.
  • I have not been to every doctor on this list.
  • I am a registered nurse.  I am fairly sensible.  I am not an expert in all things.
  • Every doctor on this list has been recommended at some point by someone I think is smart.
  • If I made a personal note, it just means I felt like I had something positive to share about this doctor.  Doctors without an anecdote aren't bad. 
  • The details that I include about each listing are accurate to my knowledge. I'm sure I made some mistakes.  PLEASE let me know if you see errors or think there should be edits, additions or changes. 
  • Phone numbers and email addresses change in Kinshasa like nobody's business.  Apologies if they don't work.
  • Any good doctor in Kinshasa will know their limits.  It's a good sign if they say that they can't help you here and suggest you seek care outside of the country. Sometimes, a medical evacuation is just the way to go..
  • In general, bring cash when you go to the doctor.
  • I think this list is in alphabetical order.
  • No promises.  Just all my wishes for good health and healing.
Ready?  Go!

____________________________________________________
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HOSPITAL or LARGE-CLINIC FACILITIES:  These facilities are generally used for emergencies or major illness or injury if you don't have access to a health unit through your job (lucky ducks!). Some of these places also house doctors' offices.
  
*CPU (Centre Privé d’Urgence) 
Dr. Rodolphe Medical Director CPU/CMK/CHK 0898950301Reception: 0898950302; 0898950305
  • Is a Belgian managed, private trauma/emergency center
  • Staffed by four rotating European-trained emergency medicine physicians
  • Open 24 hours
  • For EMERGENCIES only.  They will not hesitate to turn you away for non-emergent issues.
  • In-house lab and observation beds
  • Facilitates medical evacuation with Air Ambulance services
  • Admits members only (check with your employer) – they will ask for your name
  • Non-members seen on case by case basis (fees up to $1200/visit)
  • If hospitalization is necessary, private rooms are available
  • Directions:  Avenue du Commerce (downtown turn off of 30 Juin at the globe statue, ask for directions to "CMK", road is often bad with many potholes)

*CMK (Centre Medical de Kinshasa)       
Reception:  0998265005
Address:   Avenue du Commerce (downtown)
  • Four story 80-bed facility upstairs from CPU
  • CPU admits patients to CMK once stable (after 24 hours)
  • Private and semi-private air-conditioned rooms
  • Operating and Delivery rooms
Displaying IMG_4583.jpeg 

Displaying IMG_4639.jpeg
Nounou, Papa Antoine and I look on as the awesome nurse removes Loulou's IV before discharge at CMK.




*CMK Centre Medical de Kinshasa ("Beach" location)         
Reception : 0998265004
Address:  168, Avenue Wagenia
  • Four story medical office building on Avenue Wagenia (beach road behind US Embassy)
  • Has a walk-in emergency (Salle d’Urgence) open 24 hours
  • Has specialist offices upstairs (pediatrics, obstetrics, internal medicine, cardiology, etc.)
  • Reduced fee for CPU members

Hopital du Cinquantinaire
Dr. RAVI ( Mobile -  0822400062) - for Emergency
8501, Av. Haut Commandement, Gombe
  • http://www.padiyathmedicitykinshasa.com/
  • English spoken
  • "Africa’s first EMR care center with full fledged medical & Surgical ICU"
  • (Note: This is a brand new facility as of March 2014.)


*New Deal Medical Clinic  (Ngaliema Medical Center)   
Reception: 099-990-9283
Address: 4197 Ave de la Montagne/ Kintambo Circle
  • One mile from The American School of Kinshasa at base of hill going into Kintambo circle
  • Two story outpatient and inpatient facility 
  • In-house lab, x-ray and CT scanning 
  • Will turn away emergencies

SOS Medecins du Nuit
Reception: +243 81 888 00 18 or  +243 81 888 00 07
Address:  4744, Avenue Province
  • http://medecinsdenuit.com/
  • Provides emergency services after hours
  • Advertises home visits for emergencies, but many areas are out of service area
  • Here is a handmade, but extremely helpful map for us in a city with unreliable street markers (thanks, Colette!):



_____________________________________


PRIMARY CARE: For non-emergent illness, lab work, malaria tests, Well Child Checks, immunizations, etc., it is generally easy and convenient to call, write, or visit one of these local doctors.

*Centre Medical Diamant ("Canadian Clinic")
Reception: 0976000065 or 0817121555
Address:  3642, Suite 101, Future Tower, Boulevard du 30 Juin
  • www.cliniquediamant.com  (map on website)
  • kinshasa@cliniquediamant.com
  • Dr. Nsiagi, generalist, often sees patients first unless specialist requested before arrival
  • New, European equipment and instruments; full laboratory on-site; pharmacy on-site
  • Can use for non-emergent issues, routine checkups, OB/GYN, but also minor emergencies such as broken bones, abdominal pain, or lacerations
  • English translation available; request ahead of time
If you're wondering...yes, it actually looks like this.



Polyclinique de Kinshasa
Dr. Jean B. Juste - 081 884 02 04    Dr. Baum – 0815014798
Immeuble Pergola/ Kinshasa-Gombe (Across the Boulevard from Express grocery store )
  • French-speaking 
  • General Practitioners
  • Hours:  Monday-Friday: 8:00 -5:00; Saturday: 8:00-1:00; Sunday: 8:30-11:00
  • Dr. Juste and Dr. Baume receive patients only on appointment; however you don’t need an appointment to see the gynecologist and the 2 other general practitioners.

Pulse Africa Sprl Medical Laboratory and Clinic
Dr. M. Mannan Sharieff, M.D. - 0818095363 and 0854106950
Avenue de la Gombe, No. 8, Kinshasa/Gombe


*Dr. Luc Jacquerye
Reception: 0818800781
Address:  Clinique Vesale Safricas Compound, Socimat


  •      French-speaking, limited English
  •      Bring cash to pay for visit ($20--$200 depending on type and labs required)
  •      Office hours :  Monday – Saturday, 7:30-11:30am; Monday – Friday, 2-4pm
  •      Walk-in Only

_________________________________________




SPECIALISTS: Specialists can generally be contacted directly without a referral.  Doctor background varies, with some having training in Congo and others in Europe. Ask around to see who people know and trust.



Cardiology:

-Dr. Kapita - 099 999 25 05
  •     Office at CMK
  •      bilakapita@yahoo.com

Dentistry:

- *Dr. Kerroc'h – 0999915050
  •      French/English speaking
  •      European training and equipment for dentistry, oral surgery, and orthodontics
  •      Not always in town; only spends part of the year in Kinshasa - call or send SMS to inquire
  •      Ave Col Mondjiba # 150 (this is very close to Saba Market right after Kintambo if you are headed to the Boulevard; Go past Saba and take a u-turn, circle back and look for the green gate).

Dermatologist:

-Dr. Mazebo - 099 99 26 272
  •      CMK/"Beach" location

- Dr. Lubaki - 081 70 50 818
  •      CMK/"Beach" location


ENT: (or "ORL" in French)



- Dr. Pemba – 0898931467

  •      Ngaliema next to Grand Hotel

*Dr. Christian Lungungu - 097 60 00 065 or 081 71 21 555

  • Call for appointment at Centre Medical Diamant
  • On-site Tuesday and Thursday evenings (after 6pm, randomly)
  • (Note: I was impressed with this doctor when we went to see him for a series of ear infections in Elias that resulted in ruptured ear drums.  He was calm and kind with Eli, clear and willing to answer many parental question, and had recommendations for treatment with which our doctor in the U.S. was completely happy.  I've heard good reports from adults too.)
  • See:




Internal Medicine:

-Dr. Benoit Ngoy– 081 277 69 15 / 099 85 84 004
  •      Office at CMK
-Dr. Musongela – 081 811 22 36
  •      Office at CMK


Neurology:

- Dr. Bukasa - 099 995 38 02
  •      Office at Ngaliema Hospital next to Grand Hotel
  •      dugusber@yahoo.fr

Obstetrics & Gynecology:

-*Dr. Bavi - 099-992-1321
  •      Boulevard Clinique Dentaire Caravella/admits to CHK  
  •      davidhroire@yahoo.fr
  •      Male, Speaks French, some English
-*Dr. Bila – 0999672084 or  0993025355
  •      Female, Speaks English/French
  •      Not available for emergencies
  •      Appointment necessary; office hours at Centre Medical Diamant 
  •      Currently on leave, will be back

Ophthalmology:

*Dr. Magloire Nzolantima -  +243 (0) 993 715 460  or +243 (0) 998 171 110 
  •      http://www.laelvision.com/
  •      Vision exams, emergency appointments, surgery
  •      Office is at LAËL VISION  - near GG Mart 


Contact


Orthopedics:

-*Dr. Ntumba - 081-503-6010
  •      Centre Clinor on Avenue Tombalbaye (Corner with Kasa-Vubu, cf. CCT)
  •      Admits to CHK
  •      Also has hours at Centre Medical Diamant
  •      mpengent@yahoo.fr



Pediatrics:

-Dr. Nyakabasa - 081-502-9456
  •      bonanyakabasa@yahoo.fr 
  •     at Ngaliema Clinic

-*Dr. Aketi – 0898913257
  •      At CMK, "Beach" location (Tues., Thurs., Sat.); Call for appointment
  •      (Note: Everyone I've talked to loves this amazing doctor, including us.  She not only gave Loulou expert care when she was hospitalized with pneumonia, but remembered all the names of the stuffed animals and dolls that occupied her hospital bed.  Now, that's a doctor.)




Psychomotrocist/Play Therapy: -  +243823474223

- Paula Huber 
  •      Phone +243823474223
  •      Email: paula.huber@yahoo.com.ar
  •      May work with children



Radiology:

-Dr. Dongo  - 081-814-2999
  • Office at CMK and New Deal Medical Center for scanner
  • rogerdongo@yahoo.fr

-*Centre Imagerie de la Gombe (CIGO) –  099 889 2048
  • X-rays and Imagery (including mammogram)
  • Across from Centre Medical Diamant
  • If you can get your doctor to call ahead, it helps with the wait, which can be long

Speech Therapy:

- Paula Espinosa   - +243 819 995 328
  • Email: paulaandreaem@gmail.com
  • Speaks English/Spanish

Sports Medicine:

I've never heard of anyone using them, but there appear to be facilities next to Grace Market in Kintambo.  Anyone have experience with this service?


Surgery:

Dr. Kasongo -  089 891 04 05
  • Office at CMK downtown
  • rndjate@hotmail.com
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PHARMACIES: I love pharmacies.  They are my favorite stop for souvenirs all over the world.  In general, pharmacies in Kinshasa aren't thrilling, but they get the job done for basic needs.  FYI: You buy mosquito repellent at the pharmacy, not the grocery store (except Shop Rite sometimes has spray in stock).  Ask for medications made in Europe and check the expiration dates. There are approximately 5 million pharmacies within the Kinshasa city limits.  This is the (very) short list.  

*Pharmacie du 30 Juin - 0815035969 or 0999933690
  • Off of the Boulevard 30 Juin at Avenue Batatela; Near to the Grand Hotel; 0815035969 or 0999933690
  • Well-stocked with European-made pharmaceuticals 
  • Usually has rapid malaria test kits for home use in stock
*Grand Hotel Pharmacy - 
  • Located inside of the Grand Hotel
  • Well-stocked, can be pricey
*Pharmacie St. Catherine0818 500 087
  • Next to Shop Rite
  • Mon - Sat: 8:30 am - 9:30 pm
  • Avenue de l'O.U.A., 11268 Concession GB/Quartier Socimat, 00000 Kinshasa
  • https://www.facebook.com/PharmacieSainteCatherine
  • Usually has rapid malaria test kits for home use in stock

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MENTAL HEALTH:  I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your mental health, wherever in the world you live.  We are lucky to have choices for excellent counseling services in Kinshasa after years without options.  It's amazing how helpful it can be to talk to someone - especially when you are dealing with homesickness, culture shock, stress...the list goes on.  Life in Kinshasa can bring out the best - and worst - in people.  I always say that the world would be a much better place if everyone just went to counseling.  End of lecture. 


Counseling/Psychotherapy:

- *Elizabeth Pycroft, MBACP - 0819506094
  • Works with children and adults aged 14 and up
  • Speaks English; Training and licensed in Great Britain
  • Anxiety, depression, loss, bereavement, divorce, stress, self harm, alcohol issues, relationship issues, culture shock, homesickness, cross cultural issues, sexuality, anger, trauma, change and relocation
  • Knows and understands Kinshasa well
  • Email: epcounselling@yahoo.com
  • (Note:  Liz and I have worked together on Child Protection initiatives with schools in Kinshasa.  She's a true gem and a professional whose calm, spot-on guidance I frequently recommend.)

- Claudia Niemtzoff, MA, LPC - +243851141180
  • Works with adults and families
  • Speaks English/Spanish; Training and practice in the U.S.
  • Parenting problems, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, stress management, cross-cultural stress, marital problems, post-partum depression
  • Email: Claudia@niemtzoff.com
  • (Note: There are many new moms who find themselves in Kinshasa with a small baby after giving birth abroad.  This can be a confusing, isolating and overwhelming experience. Just because you live in Kinshasa doesn't mean you can't access help. Give Claudia a call!)
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Okay. Whew.  See?  It's not so bad. 

Go get healthy, already!

8 comments:

  1. Great job! Very useful, I will share. Just one thing I have to comment on : Pharmacie Sainte Catherine has a privacy issue. I do not blame it on the employees, who are very nice, but more likely on the management.
    Thanks again.

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  2. Thanks for this great information! ! Any direct contacts on the sports medicine clinic? Do you have any info on any therapy opportunities?

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  3. Very comprehensive list! Thank you for sharing! I sent an email to you earlier. If you didn't receive it, could you contact me at andykahn@yahoo.com or through Twitter (@andy_kahn) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/andykahnmd). Thanks!

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  4. Sorry this is to inform that Paula Espinosa, The Speech Pathologist is not any more in Kinshasa. Can you please update the list? Thanks a lot for that big effort.

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