Dikembe Mutombo became involved with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) because he shares President Clinton’s belief that we each have a personal responsibility to improve the world we share. Through his foundation, Mutombo turned this idea into action by building the state-of-the-art Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country that has been ravaged by decades of war and ensuing disease. Mutombo’s response to the widespread poverty in the DRC is helping to reduce child mortality and prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Mutombo became a CGI member so that he could share his practical experience with others and learn from President Clinton and other world leaders who are promoting positive change around the world.
To expand on his healthcare work, Mutombo made a CGI Commitment to Action in partnership with CGI member organization Becton Dickinson and Company (BD) to build a Center of Excellence at the hospital for research, education, and training for healthcare worker safety. This support is critical in a country like the DRC where resources are severely limited, and where blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV are spread to workers and patients as a result of unsterile injection devices, accidental injuries, and unsafe blood handling procedures. BD and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation will work together to assess healthcare worker safety, establish best practices, and conduct training, and provide safe medical supplies.
Mutombo explains that he wants to continue to build partnerships through CGI because it is such a dynamic force for collaborative action: "There are a lot people in this group working to fight the HIV epidemic…to fight malaria...to fight neglected tropical diseases – that are taking the lives away of so many children on the continent of Africa." Together, President Clinton, Mutombo, BD, and thousands of CGI members are making commitments to save lives.