Dreams come true as Burundi refugees in Rwanda get a fully-fledged health center; saving more than just money.

Friday 27 January 2017

By Elysee Niyigena

26th January, 2017, Mahama - Yesterday morning, SCI Rwanda in partnership with the government of Rwanda and UNHCR inaugurated a state of art health center to improve prevention and response mechanisms for children and mothers in Mahama Camp for Burundian refugees. The health center include well equipped Maternity, Laboratory and Medical isolation facilities to cater for over 50,000 Burundian refugees, over 50 per cent of whom are children.

 Rep/UNHCR; US Ambassador, Country Director/SCIRwanda, Minister of State/MoH, Minister/MIDIMAR, Meyor/Kirehe District.

During the inauguration ceremony, Philippe Adapoe, Country Director of SCI Rwanda, emphasised SCI’s willingness to work with the Government of Rwanda along with other partners to strengthen the child protection response in Mahama, ensuring that every child and mothers are protected from unnecessary deaths through more efficient health services.

“The Government of Rwanda has done great work putting emergency child protection mechanisms in place,” said Mr. Adapoe, “but there is still a need to improve and sustain these services. Save the children is profoundly grateful to be part of this project, and our partnership will continue to provide basic healthcare to refugees”.  

The Minister of Disaster Management and Refugees Seraphine Mukantabana, took the opportunity to express her gratitude for the partnership between SCI Rwanda and the Government of the Rwanda and other humanitarian agencies. “Child protection is an important priority for the government, and Strong partnership and commitment always produces lasting solutions,” she said, “it is from actions like these that lives of refugees are improved. The Government of Rwanda commits to working with our partners for continued positive change for refugees lives across the country.”

The camp is divided into two parts (Mahama I& Mahama II), mothers were very happy with the services coming near them for they will have access to Antenatal and Post Natal care services easily. Jacqueline a pregnant mother of a four-year-old boy found attending antenatal care services at the health Centre in Mahama camp. “Women were many and couldn’t get needed services at this centre, which was a risk to both mothers and unborn babies” she said, “but now, we're fortunate to have a well-equipped and smart maternity which we hope will improve delivery of and access to maternal services.”

The new constructed Maternity Unit with the capacity to accommodate 12 mothers will provide a complete package of maternity health care services beneficiaries. Refugees will be able to receive reproductive health services including Antenatal, Post-natal, skilled deliveries, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, family planning and other vital reproductive health services and minimize number and cost of referral.

The added Laboratory unit will improve the diagnostic capacity of the health centre. “We will be able to perform Haematology and clinical chemistry in addition to already tests that we are performing including Blood smear, Malaria rapid test (RDT), rapid test of Syphilis, Hepatitis B, as well as HIV”, said Hamid Saeed Ismail, SCI Health and Nutrition Programme Manager.The medical facilities were constructed and equipped with funds from UNHCR, UNFPA, CDC, DFID and BPRM.

SCI started its intervention to respond to the Burundian Influx who were fleeing from Burundi to Rwanda in May 2015. Currently, SCI interventions in Mahama Camp include Health and Nutrition, Child Protection, Sexual Gender Based Violence Prevention, Community Services, Education, Livelihood and Youth Empowerment.