The Regional School of Public Health (Ecole Régionale de Santé Public, ERSP, in French) was founded in 2009 and operates in the faculty of Medicine of the Université Catholique de Bukavu. It is one of the three schools of public health organizing a master of public health (MPH) program in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ERSP was created to tackle the dearth of public health specialists in the provinces of Sud-Kivu, Nord-Kivu, Maniema, Province Orientale and in other countries of the Great Lakes Region, in the aftermath of a protracted socio-political instability that caused a massive flight of health professionals.

Our main objective is to efficiently contribute to the development of the health sector and public health research in the Great Lakes Region. The ERSP, through its multidisciplinary training scheme and research projects, is geared towards addressing the burning local and global health challenges by harnessing local resources, partnerships, national and international cooperation.

The MPH courses are organized within the premises of the faculty of Medicine located in the compound of the Provincial General Referral Hospital of Bukavu.

  • Community Health
    Methods in Public and Community Health (10 modules- 28 ECTS)
    Public Health Planning and Management (6 modules- 20 ECTS)
    Family and Community Health (8 modules – 18 ECTS)
    Conflict Prevention and resolution (4 modules-6 ECTS)
  • Health Economics
    Elementary Notions in Public Health and Health Economics (2 modules- 36 ECTS)
    Health financing (2 modules- 6 ECTS)
    Management tools in public health (9 modules – 25 ECTS)
    Marketing and decisions analysis (2 modules – 6ECTS)
    Conflict prevention and resolution (3 modules – 5 ECTS)

For someone to be admitted to this program, they should hold a degree in General Medicine, social sciences (Bac+5) or an equivalent field with a 2-year professional experience in health sector.

Medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, biologists, veterinaries, economists, statisticians, anthropologists, lawyers, engineers in water and sanitation, demographers, etc.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree prepares graduates to a variety of job opportunities both in the Democratic Republic of Congo and abroad, including managerial positions, public health policy and administration, monitoring and evaluation, health sector governance, health promotion, disease control and outbreaks investigation, partnerships and resource mobilization, epidemiological research, implementation research, public health programs and projects management, and many others.


  1. PRD – Etude d’implantation d’un modèle de prise en charge psycho-médico-sociale au niveau du centre de santé

Partners: Catholic University of Louvain (UCLouvain, Free University of Brussels, Louvain cooperation, South Kivu Provincial Health Division

Promotor: Jean Macq (UClouvain)

DRC coordinator: Prof Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka

DRC operational coordinator: Dr Espoir Bwenge Malembaka

  1. RIPSEC : Renforcement Institutionnelle des Politiques de Santé basée sur l’Evidence en RDC

UCB coordinator: Prof Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka

Partners: University of Lubumbashi (UNILU), University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN), Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB), Ecole National de Santé Publique (ENSP, Morocco and Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (Belgium).

  1. The use of health facility data to generate maternal and child health statistics in the Kivu

Principal investigator: Dr Espoir Bwenge Malembaka

Partner: Countdown to 2030 women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health

  1. Dr Espoir Bwenge Malembaka (ERSP and Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium)
  2. Dr Christian Molima Eboma (ERSP, Bukavu and Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium)
  3. Dr Pacifique Mwenebatu (ERSP and Free University of Brussels, Belgium)
  4. Dr Rosine Bigirinama (ERSP)
  5. Dr Gaylord Amani Ngaboyeka (ERSP and Free University of Brussels
  6. Dr Aimé Cikomola (ERSP and University of Lubumbashi)
  7. Dr Samuel Makali Lwamushi (ERSP and Catholic University of Louvain)
  1. E. Mubenga, D. Chimanuka, P. De Groote, E. Bwenge, M. P. Hermans and B. Tombal. Comparison of prostate size
and anthropometric parameters
between diabetic and non-diabetic Congolese patients who underwent transurethral prostate resection in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afr J Urol, (2019).

  1. Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, James K. Tumwine, Grace Ndeezi, Ingunn M. S. Engebretsen5, Thorkild Tylleskär, Henry Wamani, Halvor Sommerfelt, Victoria Nankabirwa. Effects of complementary feeding on physical growth and cognitive development among primary school-aged children in Mbale district: a nested cohort analysis (Plos One, February 2019) pone.0211411

  1. Lambert, A.-S., Ces, S., (1), Espoir Bwenge Malembaka., Van Durme, and Macq, J. Evaluation of bottom-up interventions targeting community-dwelling frail older people in Belgium: methodological challenges and lessons for future comparative effectiveness studies (BMC Health Service Research, 2019).

  1. Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Hermès Karemere, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Anne-Sophie Lambert, Fiston Muneza, Hedwig Deconinck and Jean Macq. A new look at population health through the lenses of cognitive, functional and social disability clustering in eastern DR Congo: a community-based cross-sectional study (BMC Public Health, January 2019)

  1. E. Mubenga, D. Gruson, M.P. Hermans, E. Bwenge, B. Tombal. Metabolic syndrome components and prostatic hyperplasia among diabetic and non-diabetic men in the Eastern DR Congo: A cross-sectional study. (Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 2018)
  1. Mulinganya, V., Asima, F., Mirindi, P., &Karemere, H. (2018). Temps d’attente prolongés aux services de consultation médicale: enjeux et perspectives pour des hôpitaux de Bukavu en République Démocratique du Congo. The Pan African Medical Journal, 29.


  1. Richard Mbusa Kambale, Joe Bwija Kasengi, John Mutendela Kivukuto, Liévin Murhula Cubaka, Bruno Masumbuko Mungo, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka Infectious profile and mortality of children aged 0-5 years admitted with severe acute malnutrition: a retrospective cohort study conducted in the Therapeutic Nutritional Center in Bukavu, Republic of Congo

DOI: 10.11604/pamj.2016.23.139.8370

  1. Mari Dumbaugh, Wyvine Bapolisi, Jennie van de Weerd, Michel Zabiti, Paula Mommers, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Sonja Merten Evaluating the comparative effectiveness of different demand side interventions to increase maternal health service utilization and practice of birth spacing in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo: an innovative, mixed methods approach. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2017

DOI: 10.1186/s12884-017-1396-3