Merlin is part of a consortium that has embarked on a US$40 million (£20.3 million) programme to rebuild and strengthen health services in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The three-year project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to increase access to vital services such as mother and baby health care, and treatment for malaria, tuberculosis and common childhood illnesses.
Other activities will be implemented to help rebuild the health system, including training health workers, and providing medical equipment and supplies to health centres in targeted areas of Maniema and South Kivu provinces in eastern DRC.
For the first year, Merlin has been granted £1.4 million by USAID. The project will improve health services for a total catchment population of approximately 1.5 million people.
Working closely with the local health authorities and communities, Merlin's objectives in the first 12 months include:
Training 2,630 health workers to improve technical skills
Renovating 50 health centres
Establishing reproductive health services in 60 per cent of health facilities
Improving nutrition by distributing Vitamin A supplements
Distributing insecticide-treated mosquito nets to help prevent malaria
The consortium is being managed by the US-based Interchurch Medical Assistance. Other members are World Vision International, the Protestant Church of Congo and Catholic Relief Services.
Complementing this project, Merlin is working with UNICEF on a major vaccination campaign which will help to reduce the incidence of diseases such as polio, tetanus, measles, tuberculosis and whooping cough among children and pregnant women.
For further information, contact:
Senior Communication Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7014 1702
Out of office hours: +44 (0)7092 382 421