Rwanda is currently hosting a team of American doctors who are on a two-week mission to provide training to Rwandan medical personnel, as well as providing specialist advice and treatment to a lucky few Rwandan patients in dire need.
A local NGO that promotes community-based healthcare development, Health Development Initiative Rwanda (HDI) invited and coordinated the activities of the group, and it has set up base at Kibagabaga Hospital.
In Huye District, an NGO, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), carried out a dental health campaign among pupils in Ngoma District last week.
The campaign targeted the poor standards of oral and dental health, and by the end of the exercise, over 200 pupils of Ngoma Adventist Primary School in Ngoma Sector had their dental cavities looked at and professional hygiene-related advice and appropriate treatment given.
Then there are the two teams of Australian and American open heart surgeons who visit Rwanda and set up base at King Faisal Hospital every April and September. And the equipment they bring with them for King Faisal, and for Rwanda.
Rwanda is greatly indebted to these groups of mercy that offer so much of their time and expertise to us. Their interventions are acts of mercy because the people who get touched with their curative skills are mostly those who had otherwise lost hope of recovery.
However, Rwanda gains most when our own medical practitioners interact and learn skills from their specialist visitors, a golden opportunity that should be exploited maximally whenever it avails itself. It is skill learnt by not going to school or paying for it; it is skill that is brought to their doors gratis.
This paper enjoins every group, every NGO, that has the capacity and relations to bring more such groups to go ahead and bring them in, so that more people get specialist medical treatment, as also more health practitioners get expert training.