Laura Seay is an assistant professor of political science at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Her research addresses community responses to the fragility in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a contributor to the Christian Science Monitor’s Africa Monitor blog, The Atlantic online and The Guardian’s Global Development blog.
After nearly 20 years of state failure and conflict, the Democratic Republic of Congo has become a difficult place in which to be healthy. Life expectancy is only in the early 40s for both men and women; 1 in 13 women dies in childbirth; and 1 in 5 children does not survive to its fifth birthday.