The DREAM program is present in the Democratic Republic of Congo since February 2009, when the first DREAM center in the country was opened. In 2011 the second center was opened in the suburbs of Kinshasa; since the beginning of its activity more than 13,000 people have been reached by the program and 1,500 patients are currently receiving treatment .
Last august 29th the Minister of Public Health of the Congolese government, Dr. Felix Kabange, paid a visit to the Floribert Bwana Chuy DREAM center in Kinshasa. The center, which opened in July 2011, has already reached more than 5,000 people through testing and counseling and has taken care of more than 600 HIV-positive patients. "I was really impressed by the quality of the work of the DREAM center, where people are taken into care globally, according to all aspects of their lives," said the minister at the end of the visit. Improvising a brief press conference with the many journalists that were present, he then spoke in both French and Lingala, to invite the Congolese people to go to the DREAM center without fear of AIDS.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country of 72 million inhabitants and the capital, Kinshasa, hosts more than 10 million. The data on HIV prevalence in the country are few and far from being recent: the United Nations reported an average prevalence of 4.3% in 2008, while in the main cities of the country it would have reached 10 % and among pregnant women is reported a prevalence of 1.9% , but the availability of the test in maternity is very poor. D.R. Congo though being a rich country, full of great mineral resources and energy , in 2013 fell in the last place with regards to the human development index, being classified as the poorest country in the world along with Niger. Here the DREAM center offers patients care of excellence and nutritional support and more than 1000 liters of drinking water to the population of the area every day.
" Ici tout est gratuit " ( Here, everything is free) : This phrase written visibly on the walls of the center, has deeply affected the attention of the Minister Kabange during his visit. Faced with a poor population like that of Kinshasa, used to pay for all health services, the challenge of gratuity prompted him to declare a concrete support to the activities of DREAM .
At the end of the meeting, in a festive atmosphere, some patients have also wanted to greet the minister, testifying personally the power of a rediscovered life.