The ”Institut Panafricain de Santé Communautaire et Medecine Tropicale“ (IPASC) was created in 1992 in the North-East of the Democratic Republic of Congo with the goal of improving the health and well-being of people of all cultures and faiths through a community determined approach. IPASC is a Christian organisation and is recognized and registered as a non governmental organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
To reach the aim of improving health and well being, IPASC trains community health workers to diploma (4 years following 10 years schooling) or degree level (3 years following 12 years schooling) so that they, in turn, can work in their communities. There are also short courses for traditional (village) midwives, and refresher courses for health personnel.
Training is in the classroom and “hands on” through involvement in IPASC programmes. Students sometimes start new programmes themselves, and many IPASC graduates have established successful community programmes after their studies.
The IPASC programmes always include listening to grassroots communities to enable them to identify local solutions to health needs which usually include organising, delivering and maintaining primary health care in the community.
IPASC is engaged in some long term programmes:
- Primary Health Care
- Safe Motherhood
- Research and Consultation
- Natural medicines.
IPASC staff are from many cultures and backgrounds. The staff and students have demonstrated principles of reconciliation, forgiveness and support during inter-tribal conflicts over the past five years.
IPASC works in close collaboration with several lay and Christian and international organizations as well as with the government and non-governmental organizations and especially with the local community. IPASC has particularly benefited from over 15 years support from Bread For The World in Germany, ICCO in Netherlands, World Council of Churches (WCC) and Tear Fund (UK). It has academic collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (UK).