Wood Products in the Republic of Congo
Olam subsidiary Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) manages timber concessions in one of the most remote parts of the Republic of Congo. To tackle an absence of professional healthcare facilities near the timber concessions, CIB partnered with the Government of the Republic of Congo and PharmAccess (a Dutch medical NGO), to develop and run a hospital in Pokola, and two health centres in Kabo and Loundoungou. Today these serve nearly 1,000 CIB staff, their families and a diverse range of communities within the forest, including semi-nomadic indigenous groups.
The 40 bed hospital, together with the two satellite health centres, provides diagnosis and treatment for malaria, as well as pregnancy consultations and contraceptive advice, vaccinations, an HIV prevention and treatment programme, radiology, ultrasound, surgery, dental care and ophthalmologic care, all on a daily basis. In 2015, the health centres managed 20,901 consultations.
Local semi-nomadic and settled indigenous groups have traditionally lacked access to professional healthcare, and have difficulty in reaching the CIB hospital. These indigenous people are supported by the Fondation Frédérique Glannaz pour l’Assistance des Bambenzelé (FFAB) which covers their transport and hospital costs, and provides free school places for their children in Pokola and Kabo.
The “Biso na Biso” (“Between Us”) community radio station, established by CIB and the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT) in 2007 with financial support from the World Bank Development Marketplace and the Fondation Chirac, supports the healthcare programmes for malaria and HIV prevention through local-language broadcasts which raise awareness and facilitate knowledge sharing among widely dispersed forest people in the Congo Basin.
In addition to the hospital and clinics, Olam CIB has invested in local infrastructure for community development and wellbeing that includes modern housing with electricity, clean drinking water, schools, a library, and sports fields.
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