Belgium partners with Rwanda to open a new hospital in Kigali
A new district hospital recently opened its doors, providing health care to Nyarugenge citizens, a district of Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. The tremendous project including design, construction and equipment was funded by Belgium and implemented by Enabel, the Belgian development agency, in partnership with the City of Kigali and Rwanda’s Ministry of Health.
With its high standard of care, and in particular oxygen therapy and ICU capacity, Nyarugenge District Hospital is serving as national COVID19 treatment center since early January to respond to the big surge in new corona virus cases.
Operational since December 1st, 2020, the facility was built to provide access to quality health care to over 300,000 people that did not have access to a hospital in their district. “Mothers had to go far for delivery services and patients had to be transferred to other district hospitals. These were among the causes for higher morbidity and mortality”, explains project coordinator Dr Vincent Tihon. “Patients with non-communicable diseases used to go to distant public hospitals for monitoring and treatment or pay private clinics at high costs. Other hospitals were therefore overwhelmed with additional patients and could not systematically provide comprehensive quality of care.”
The 120-bed hospital provides full services including curative and preventive consultations, laboratory and radiology services, surgery, maternity and neonatal unit, intensive care unit, pediatrics, internal medicine and emergencies. Medical records are fully digitalised so that doctors and nurses can access patients records in confidentiality and at any needed time. Laboratory results, x-ray imaging are automatically included in the medical records. Prescriptions are automated so that pharmacy services can provide prescribed treatment in an efficient way. The hospital is now part of the Kigali hospital network to ensure efficient patient management and referral in Kigali. The hospital also provides primary health care services and oversees six health centers in the catchment area.
The current hospital has a capacity of 120 beds, but in a second phase this will increase to 300 beds and much needed services such as ophthalmology, physiotherapy, and mental health will be offered.
“The hospital greatly improves the access to quality health care in Nyarugenge District. It is expected to deliver high standards of care and be active in the Kigali hospital network for the benefit of the community. Its designation as a Covid-19 treatment center is a testimony of its high standards and level of care”, explains Dirk Deprez, country representative of Enabel based in Kigali.
Last week, Rwanda began vaccinating high risk groups such as frontline healthcare workers against Covid-19. The hospital is one of the sites where the campaign started. Rwanda acquired approved Covid-19 vaccines through international partnerships in limited quantities. A wider roll-out should follow later this month with supplies from the Covax Facility and the African Union’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform.