Inshuti Mu Buzima project history

  Rwinkwavu ward before

Rwinkwavu Hospital ward before reconstruction

  Rwinkwavu ward after

Rwinkwavu Hospital ward after reconstruction

2004 - The government of Rwanda invites PIH to reinforce the national HIV prevention and treatment program in rural areas where it had been lagging. The Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) also urges PIH to join in a drive to scale up HIV care in rural Rwanda and elsewhere in Africa.

2005 - In January, PIH signs a Memorandum of Understanding with CHAI to initiate a project to scale up HIV care and treatment in Rwanda, working in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and the Treatment and Research for AIDS Center (TRAC). After several trips to investigate conditions and consult with the Rwandan government, PIH agrees to work in two health districts in southeastern Rwanda, the poorest part of the country with a population of almost 500,000 people and not a single doctor. During the spring, a Rwandan partner organization is formed under the name Inshuti Mu Buzima (Partners In Health in Kinyarwanda), the derelict hospital in Rwinkwavu is reconstructed and reequipped, and extensive training is conducted for clinical staff and community health workers. IMB begins offering HIV testing within a matter of weeks and enrolls its first patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) starting in June 2005. By the end of the year, more than 17,000 people have been tested and almost 700 have started ART. More than 1,000 patients visit IMB clinics each month, almost 5,000 women have received prenatal counseling, and IMB is distributing 700 food packets per month to HIV and tuberculosis patients and their families.

2006 - IMB builds 30-bed pediatric care center at Rwinkwavu Hospital to serve as a referral facility for complicated pediatric cases from all IMB sites. The first fully renovated operating room opens in October and doctors begin providing emergency surgical care. More communities receive access to care throughout southeastern Rwanda as IMB begins working in four health centers in the Kirehe district, which serves a population of more than 350,000 people. More than 1,500 food packages are distributed each month to HIV and TB patients and their families, and IMB signs an agreement with the World Food Program for another 1,000 per month. IMB continues to support social and economic rights by building more than 35 houses, paying secondary school fees for almost 400 students who would have otherwise have been unable to go to school, and establishing a carpentry and welding workshop that provides jobs for local residents and furnishings for the new IMB clinical facilities. By the end of 2006, about 2,000 patients are enrolled on antiretroviral therapy, more than 800 community health workers are visiting patients daily to distribute medications and provide social support, and IMB records 91,325 patient visits.

2007 - The Rwandan Ministry of Health works with IMB to launch Rwanda’s Rural Health Initiative to bring quality health care to every rural district in the country. The program brings comprehensive care to Burera, a district in northern Rwanda whose 400,000 people had previously been served by a single doctor and no functioning hospital. The program renovates a 55-bed hospital for immediate use, makes plans for and begins construction on a new district hospital, and hires clinical staff. Villagers elect 1,200 community health workers to staff the community-based model of care. IMB also expands to a seventh site in southeastern Rwanda, Ndego. IMB establishes chronic care clinics at all seven sites to provide support for long-term illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and heart disease.

2008 - The Ministry of Health and IMB complete construction on a new district hospital in Kirehe. The facility will serve more than 260,000 people and holds 108 beds, a women’s, men’s and maternity ward as well as surgery, a laboratory, a pediatric ward complete with clinic, a play room and counseling space. The agricultural training center at Rwinkwavu Hospital produces food for hospital patients and provides free agricultural education for parents of malnourished children and HIV/AIDS patients.

2009 - In Burera, IMB supports the Rwandan government’s national rural health care framework by providing training and supporting the salaries of community health nurses and supervisors and well as community health workers to care for the district of 400,000 people and 13 health centers; for the first time, women in the district have access to local and comprehensive reproductive health care.


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