KIGALI - Rwandan youth, under the aegis of Solid Africa, spent Easter Sunday evening, dining with less privileged patients at the Kigali Central Teaching Hospital (CHUK).
Solid Africa - a member based nonprofit organisation - specialises in taking care of less privileged patients in hospitals by serving them meals and offering other necessities that may not be covered under their medical insurance, and are paramount to their recovery while in hospital and upon return home after discharge.
According to Isabelle Kamariza, the founder of Solid Africa, serving a special meal to patients is one of the main objectives of the organisation. She noted that it not only gives the patients hope, but also helps accelerate their recovery process.
“We aim at supporting the most socio-economically vulnerable individuals in need of medical assistance. We are currently supporting patients at CHUK, Muhima, and Kanombe hospitals and we will soon start working in Kibagabaga Hospital,” Kamariza said.
She added that Solid Africa was committed to providing the basic needs of patients, including food, hygiene facilities or transport from hospital, after being discharged.
Jean Damascene Ntagwabira, one of the benefiary patients, pointed out that support from the organisation has helped with his recovery process.
“I suffered from severe burns in September last year and sustained terrible injuries. I couldn’t afford medicine until when Kamariza (Founder of Solid Africa) helped by offering the medicine I needed,” Ntagwabira said.
While more than 90 percent of the population has medical insurance, there are other extra costs not fully covered by the insurance, yet are important in the recovery process.
Many of Solid Africa beneficiaries are extremely poor and at times do not have families in Kigali, where most of the referral hospitals are located.
The organisation plans to build a public kitchen to prepare food for vulnerable patients in public hospitals.
According to the plan, the kitchen would cater for about 1,000 people a day.
“We don’t have enough funds to carry out all our plans; we still need support however small from everybody,” said Patrick Nizeyimana, a member of Solid Africa.
The special Easter meal was financed by well wishers, including, Rwandachick, which supplied the chicken.
The patients also received porridge, milk, rice and beans.