HUYE - A newly refurbished state-of the-art paediatric wing was yesterday commissioned at the University Teaching Hospital of Butare.
Gaëtane Scavee, First Secretary in charge of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Belgium, hailed the refurbishment of the children’s wing as ‘another milestone in the continued cooperation between the government of Belgium and Rwanda.’
The children’s wing which is part of a Rwf3billion project by the Government of Belgium through the Belgian Technical Cooperation to improve health delivery at the teaching hospital has also been furnished with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Speaking at the event, Scavee said that the current cooperation between the government of Belgium and Rwanda amounts to about Rwf110billion which focus on sectors like health, rural development, education and governance.
She hailed Rwanda’s Vision 2020 and Economic Development and Poverty Eradication Strategy (EDPRS) which she said, provide a road map for a sustainable social economic development of the Country.
“Rwanda demonstrates everyday a very high sense of ownership of its development agenda and the progress and achievement of the government in several sectors are widely recognised. The government of Belgium is indeed very happy to contribute to the achievement of the development targets of the government of Rwanda,” she said.
Gaetane added that health policies such as the decentralisation of health services and the all inclusive health insurance have brought health services close to the community, increased participation and has contributed to the population’s well being.
“The rehabilitation and equipment of the paediatric unit comes to strengthen the momentum recorded in providing basic health care to the population and more specifically to children, we hope that the rehabilitation and equipment of the paediatric ward will help the national university of Rwanda to fulfil its pedagogical mission,” said Gaetane.
She added: “Rwanda has recorded an exemplary reduction in maternal and child mortality rates with a 50 percent reduction in child births over the last five years; it is thus one of the few countries in Africa which are on track to meet the fourth objective of the millennium development goals to reduce child mortality by 2/3 by 2015.”
Professor John Iraka, head of the paediatric department at the University Teaching Hospital of Butare said that the facility is much better than what was there three years ago.
“The spirit that it [new wing] is generating among the workers is very important we are all anxious, we are all encouraged that we have such a facility and we want to march the cleanliness, the equipment with the product in form of a good doctor,” said Professor Iraka.
Dr Iraka said that children admitted at the 56 bed facility are those born prematurely, malaria, diarrhoea and vomiting cases, some with heart problems and those with complications related to AIDS.
Dr Andre Musemakweli, the hospital Director General and who represented the Minister of Health at the function called upon staff at the hospital to offer good service to patients.
The next phase of the project will see the construction as well as equipment of the maternity and emergency units of this hospital. A waste water treatment plant is nearing completion while the fencing off of the hospital premises is also planned
In order to increase the quality of teaching and research at the National University of Rwanda, 2million Euros has been set aside for the construction and equipment of a laboratory for science and medicine departments by the Belgian Government.