Burera district moves to tackle poor healthcare

A new program designed to facilitate continuous quality improvement of health services in Burera District has been launched.
Patients at Butaro Cancer Hospital. The district seeks to improve healthcare. (File)
Patients at Butaro Cancer Hospital. The district seeks to improve healthcare. (File)

A new program designed to facilitate continuous quality improvement of health services in Burera District has been launched.

The programme dubbed “Mentorship, Enhanced Supervision at Health Facilities and Quality Improvement (MESH-QI)” was initiated by Partners in Health Rwanda (PIH) in collaboration with Butaro Hospital, the main health facility in the district.

According to Peter Drobac, the Director of Partners in Health, the new program is an innovation that empowers nursing supervisors to improve healthcare.

He said that under the programme, nurses from the main hospital become mentors in maternal health and child health for HIV and non-communicable diseases and help health centres improve the quality of healthcare.

“What we have learnt is that sometimes just giving nurses training for one week is not enough to enhance skills and performance needed to deliver high quality care. So, the nurse mentors coming from the main hospital to provide ongoing supervision to help use the skills in effective ways and give some kind of new ideas about how to improve the healthcare,” Drobac said.

He also noted that the mentors are helpful in collecting and using data that is needed to improve the provision of healthcare.

“We ensure that all the data collected from the health sector can be analysed within health centres to identify the strength and gaps that can be improved,” he said.

Officials at Butaro Hospital said that they have already identified some areas where the MESH-QI program will be working.

Partners in Health officials say that the MESH-QI program has already contributed to significant improvements in health system and quality of care in maternal, child health, and HIV sectors in Eastern Province’s areas covered by Kirehe and Rwinkwavu hospitals.

Dr Tharcisse Mpunga, director of Butaro Hospital, said that he was optimistic the program will be successful, indicating that more mentors have already been selected to help in various health facilities.

He said the system will be used to reduce the rate of death for children of less than five years, increase the number of pregnant women attending prenatal services and fight against malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS.

Mpunga added that the programme will also promote hygiene in health facilities through sensitisation.

“We have a particular problem of lack of hygiene in our health centres and we can’t mobilise people on hygiene without having it at our centres. We shall also focus on the management of health facilities to improve the management system,” he said.

PIH is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to combating disease and poverty in resource-limited settings in collaboration with local communities and governments.

It has partnered with the Ministry of Health since 2005 to strengthen the health delivery system in the country.

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