The hospital experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo is vastly different from what one would expect from a western hospital. Years of conflict have left the health system crippled. While the doctors are willing, their resources are scarce and the ill-equipped hospitals are forced to do what they need to in order to get by. Desparate families bring their sick loved ones in for treatement, but then often find themselves unable to pay the bill.
If a family is unable to pay their bill, the hospitals will keep the patient until someone pays their fees. This situation can take months to resolve, and many families have been completely broken apart because of it. Sadly, it is not uncommon for mothers to abandon children in hospitals because they simply can’t pay. For some families there will never be a reunification. Hospitals also lack the basic supplies that any medical facility needs. Surgical gloves and even medications often need to be provided by the patient before they are allowed to obtain care.
In order to help those in these types of situations, Mwangaza initiated the Luke fund. This project is named after Luke the evangelist who was also a physician. The goal is to provide a rescue fund for families that are at risk of separation because of unpaid hospital bills. Its' purpose is to keep families together. The fund also provides for some of the needs of doctors such as gloves, scalpels, or even syringes. The amount of $260 per month is used to rescue children at the Kalembe Lembe Pediatric Hospital and COPEN. These two institution have shown a genuine concern for the best interest of children and are working with us to solve the problem.