IMCK (Institut Medical Chretien du Kasai) Nursing School was established in 1954 under an agreement between the American Presbyterian Congo Mission and the Belgian government, which held Congo as a colony until 1960. The Democratic Republic of Congo was at the center of what has been called “Africa’s World War”, a five-year conflict of government forces supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, against rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda. Despite a formal end to the war in 2003, DRC has been left in the midst of a humanitarian crisis and continual suffering. One of the greatest needs is health care development, as there are less than 2 nurses per 1,000 people in a country with a population of 67.5 million. 438 students are currently enrolled at IMCK and, in 2014, 65 students graduated.
IMCK Nursing School was initially established as a three-year nursing program, and a lab tech school was later added. Both the nursing and the lab tech schools have expanded to four-year programs at the A2 level, graduating certified lab techs and associated degree nurses at the Institut Technique Medical (ITM).
In 2010, IMCK developed a program for training nurses at the A1 level, equivalent to a BS degree, at the Institut Superieur des Techniques Medicales (ISTM). ISTM offers specialization in Management of Health Care Institutions and Midwifery. The upgraded institution provides advanced classes, including management skill training and advanced training in maternal and child health. IMCK is now able to train nurses at the A1 level in management, pediatric nursing, and nurse midwifery.