The Rwandan military establishment has come to redefine how a modern force is able to go beyond its calling and take the lead in national development.
For the last decade or so, it has been holding an annual exercise dubbed “Army Week”, though it lasts for months. Military specialists go to preselected parts of the country to carry out medical clinics, construct schools, health centres and homes for the needy.
They are also present when disaster strikes, have been known to even lend a hand to neighbouring countries such as airlifting accident victims. It even took on the role of firefighter in Burundi when Bujumbura’s central market went up in smoke.
But it is its readiness to lead by example that sets it apart. The engineering brigade has played a pivotal role in infrastructure development and has several bridges to its name. The Rwanda Defence Force has invested a lot in its medical personnel that most specialized doctors come from within its ranks.
So it did not come as a surprise to learn that next month it will open the region’s top Oncology (cancer) centre at its facility, Rwanda Military Hospital located in Kanombe.
Already the hospital is the health centre of choice for many patients. Maybe it is the military discipline that guarantees excellent service, but there is no doubt that they have set the bar high for other institutions to emulate.
The Oncology centre comes as a Godsend as people had to travel far and wide to seek cancer treatment. Now it is at their doorstep and supports all local health insurance schemes. Now, that is what merits to be described as “ending the year on a high note”.