High mortality in an internally displaced population in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2005: results of a rapid assessment under difficult conditions

Glob Public Health. 2006;1(3):195-204. doi: 10.1080/17441690600681869.


The ongoing conflict in Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has led to more than 50,000 deaths, more than 500,000 displaced civilians and continuing, unacceptably high, mortality since 1999. In February 2005, after a resurgence of violence and further displacements, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched an emergency response in three internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Ituri. We performed a rapid health assessment in April 2005 in one of the IDP camps to evaluate mortality (due to violence or disease) and camp living conditions. The retrospective mortality survey, covering a recall period from 18 December 2004 to 27 March 2005, indicated a crude mortality rate of 4.1 deaths/10,000/day (95% CI: 2.8-5.4) and an under-five mortality rate of 6.9 deaths/10,000/day (95% CI: 4.4-9.4). Living conditions in the camp were extremely poor (average 286 persons per latrine). Despite efforts of the international community and humanitarian organizations, the security situation continues to deteriorate. Regular assessments should be undertaken to monitor the situation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Altruism
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Population Surveillance
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence*
  • Warfare*
  • Young Adult