(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation is dedicated to improving the health, education and quality of life for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Foundation strives to accomplish this goal through an emphasis on primary health care and disease prevention, the promotion of health policy, health research and increased access to health care education for the people of the Congo.
Dikembe Mutombo says his aspirations have always been focused on improving the living conditions and well being of the Congolese population.
On September 15, 2001, his dream became a reality as he witnessed the historic groundbreaking of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center, a new 10-acre, 300–bed facility dedicated to the memory of his beloved mother.
The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center in Dikembe's hometown of Kinshasa will provide special care to the nation's poorest residents and train its health professionals with the latest innovations in health care.
Mutombo has already contributed over $15 million toward the $29 million project. The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center is one of the very few well-equipped and modern hospitals in the DR Congo.
Mutombo believes the addition of this new facility will be effective in diminishing some of the major health gaps within his country.
Construction on the new hospital in the capital city of Kinshasa began in 2001 and Phase 1 will be completed in 2007.
When Dikembe signed agreements with the contractors (Besix Corporation) at the Louis Berger Group offices in Washington, D.C., he stated, "the construction of this new hospital will benefit future generations by allowing them to lead healthy, productive lives."
The General Hospital will include state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, with inpatient beds, an outpatient clinic, emergency services, and a pharmacy.
Researchers and clinicians will have access to the hospital's laboratories for biochemistry, hematology, bacterial, and parasitic sampling. Other specialized departments will offer services in surgery, obstetrical care, radiology, and nuclear medicine.
The hospital's clinics will treat all conditions, offering expertise in heart and lungs, urology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology.
In addition, the General Hospital will also treat specific health conditions, offering tests in gastroenterology, respiratory, allergies, echo- cardiology, electrocardiology, echo obstetrics, and dermatology.
The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation also cooperates with the health initiatives of other agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The CDC has a program called the National Immunization Program that ran a worldwide race to eradicate polio globally.
On his return to the Congo in 1999, Dikembe added his support by making public appearances and taping public service announcements to encourage cooperation of the CDC's efforts.
Mutombo has also spoken at the United Nations Poverty Day in New York on the effects of poverty on the health of a country.
DMF is a financial supporter of the International Polio Victims Response Committee (IPVRC) in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
DMF sends regular monthly donations to IPVRC to secure beneficial corrective treatment and equipment for young people who have been disabled by polio (or who have similar disabilities).
Well-made braces can last 10 years or more keeping paralyzed legs straight so that a person can put weight on his/her legs without having them collapse.
DMF believes that the ability to be mobile improves dignity, independence and self-confidence of physically disabled persons.
He has probably done more than any athlete every dreamed of doing. He is a great person in society and I wish there were more people like him.
His foundation site can be found here: http://www.dmf.org/aboutdmf1.php?show=missionstatement