THE CURTAINS draw on this year’s Army Week today. Throughout the ‘Week’, stretching four weeks, medical specialists from Rwanda Defence Forces have been engaged in outreach programmes that have seen them deliver free healthcare service to the common folk.
For Alvania Nyiramukara, the Army Week will be forever remembered as God-ordained. Losing her eyesight two years ago and seeing her life go from hopeless to disillusionment, Nyiramukara had given up on ever seeing again until the RDF doctors came shining their torches into her retina.
After the surgery, she can see again. It was almost a similar scrip for a joyous Concesa Ntawugashira. But the lesson to draw is that Nyiramukara and Ntawugashira are just a representation of scores of other eye defect patients who had their vision restored by RDF specialists during the Army Week.
Like Dr John Nkurikiye, an ophthalmologist who has been heading the team of doctors, says, no one should wait for Army Week campaigns to have their salient health needs attended to. Some of the testimonies from the patients this paper recorded indicate negligence.
Sitting back and waiting as you procrastinate on healthcare has disastrous results. This is not just about eye defects but all other ailments, including minor headache. Seeking early treatment for all sorts of ailments is the only way we can be sure of the trajectory the ailment affecting us is taking.
Community health insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Santé, is one of a kind in the content. Our citizens are lucky to enjoy such a service in an era where several governments have left medical insurance to private companies.
Citizens must embrace the medical scheme and reduce the burden medical costs weighs on them. Community health workers, too, should do more to reach out and encourage patients to seek timely treatment.
Health is life and, therefore, a priority one cannot procrastinate on ensuring.