The last ten years have seen unprecedented growth of Rwanda’s economy at 8.2 percent per annum making the country one of the ten fastest growing country’s in the world according to a World Bank report.
The growth that has lifted over one million people out of poverty has not come by chance but is a result of meticulous planning through development road maps like Vision 2020 and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
To achieve this growth, government envisioned a private sector-led economy. Consequently, a series of incentives to encourage investment in all sectors of the economy were put in place.
Birth of the Bio Medical Centre
After the 1994 genocide, all vital sectors of the economy were largely in shambles. The health sector was not spared either. This gap especially in the service sector was also an opportunity for investment. This is how the Bio Medical Centre was established in 2001 to offer the much needed medical laboratory services.
“We had a situation where most specimens had to be sent abroad and some people were forced to travel to Europe to carry out some simple tests which could be done here. This laboratory was established to meet this critical need,” says Dr Alphonse Karagirwa, the founder of the centre.
The Bio Medical Centre specializes in micro-biology and offers other specialized services in internal medicine, dermatology and pediatrics.
“Laboratory services are dominant, we uphold the standards and norms of a modern laboratory and we have the equipment and personnel,” says Dr Karagirwa, a qualified pathologist.
BMC also benefited since its creation, from a partnership with a number ofhighly reputable laboratories, located in Lyon, France. A number of specialized tests are sent regularly and using a dedicated access code, a patient’s records can be accessed and results printed.
Results test results can be gotten in just a day, while results for samples sent outside the country take a maximum of three weeks because of specialised transport requirements.
Staff and equipment
BMC has 15 staff members; these include eight laboratory technicians who are graduates of schools of laboratory that have been accredited by government. The centre receives over 100 patients a day.
The laboratory also receives samples from, hospitals, private clinics, and Non-governmental organizations, especially in Kigali. Some are received from neighboring countries.
BMC also has good analytical equipment. Tests are carried out using Immuno analysis AXSYM Abbott, blood chemistry examinations are done on Cobas C111Roche, and the enumeration is done with the globular Micros 60 from Horiba.
There is also an electrolyte analyzer Roche and a Coagulometer the Start 4, Diagnostica Stago and other equipment.
“We are continually improving; we have permanent technical control of our equipment and maintaining quality standards and continuous training of our workers. The ministry of Health carries out inspections to ensure that proper laboratory standards are maintained.
“We guarantee quality tests in our laboratories; our results are dependable and reliable because they undergo stringent tests,” Karagirwa says.
BMC partners with different players in the health sector. It partners with health insurance providers like RSSB, MMI, MEDPLAN CORAR and other institutions like banks.
BMC looks forward to expanding its facilities by building a modern structure in the city centre.The laboratory looks forward to broadening the range of analyses so as to meet the domestic demand but also position itself at regional level.
Development of human resources including highly qualified technicians will be a priority. Similarly special emphasis will be placed on the choice of equipment and techniques and ensuring a computerized management system of all activities of the center.
“The health sector has greatly improved, people no longer have to worry about how they will be treated once they fall sick, the different health facilities offer numerous possibilities for access to health care, and as BMC we are ready to offer the best laboratory services that can be found anywhere in the world,” Dr Karagirwa notes.
BIO MEDICAL CENTER
P.O.BOX 4850 Kigali-Rwanda
Muhima next to DHL