KIGALI - A team of American medical experts are in the country on a two-week mission aimed at providing free training to Rwandan doctors and extending treatment to vulnerable people. The 19-member team is from Spokane, Washington, and is composed of physicians and ancillary healthcare providers.
The healthcare professionals were invited by Health Development Initiative Rwanda (HDI), a local NGO that promotes community-based healthcare development to build sustainable alliances between community and professional healthcare providers, as well as to train local practitioners in reproductive health and family planning.
The delegation, which arrived in the country last week, is currently based at Kibagabaga Hospital where it is carrying out surgeries and assisting in complicated deliveries. According to Dr. Pam Silverfein, the team leader, they arrived with medical equipment worth Frw33 million.
“All the equipment we brought is to be used for treatment and training of doctors and nurses here; they include some state-of-the-art machines that we have donated to the hospital,” said Silverfein.
“It is greatly uplifting to be working here in Rwanda,” she said, adding that her team would continue helping Rwandans even after the end of their mission.
The Director of Kibagabaga Hospital, Dr. Diane Gashumba, hailed HDI for coordinating the team. She said the experts will conduct training sessions for the hospital staff and assist in the daily business of the hospital.
Meanwhile, a member of the team, Dr Goldberg Addrienne from Deaconess Hospital, said that the donation was collected from Washington DC and that the team has plans to increase its medical aid to Rwanda.
“We are planning to launch our campaign in all US states to raise funds for more aid in medical equipment,” Adrienne said.
The Managing Director of HDI, Aphrodis Kagaba, said the team would carry out surgical operations during their two-week stay in Rwanda.
He added that they have a programme of bringing more medical volunteers who will operate outside Kigali City handling complicated cases.
In a related development, the president of Health Leadership International (HLI) and the founder of Coffee Rwanda Company, Dr. Karl Weyreauch, said that Rwandan doctors will gain from post-training experience from the Americans.
Weyreauch partnered with HDI to coordinate the coming of the American team.