Rushaki is a town located in the north part of the country, approximately 60 kilometres from the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali. Health centre in Rushaki is run by Missionary Sisters of Saint Family. Subject to the care of the Health Centre are over 21 thousand people from the population inhabiting 42 nearby villages scattered across the so-called Umudugudu mountains. The Centre receives approximately 100 patients on a daily basis, but during the flu season the number of patients increases to 200 or even 300 patients daily. In the Centre approximately 40 babies are delivered and approximately 200 vaccinations are administered to children monthly. The patients of the Centre are in large extend poor and uneducated. The Health Centre contains dressing rooms, a place for hospitalisation, a delivery room, a laboratory, it also conducts consultations for patients with AIDS and is active in the range of vaccinations on the spot and in the field. In the Centre there is also a nutritionist available whose tasks are supplying additional nutrition to famished children and intervening in their place of residence. Additionally, in each of the villages that are subject to the Centre are one or two people who watch over the health of the residents and pregnant women. The volunteers remain in a constant contact with the Centre. In Rushaki there are also a few primary schools, a college, a preschool, and a compensatory school for less gifted children who finish their education at the primary level. The Health Centre cooperates with the aforementioned institutions. A Rehabilitation Centre for disabled people is also located in Rushaki. The most common illnesses that affect residents of Rushaki and nearby areas, mostly children, are malaria, Typhoid fever, influenza, and infestation.
The activities carried out during the project were an answer to hospital’s request and were aimed at helping the local population, improve their quality of life, broaden their access to health care, improve their health awareness. As a part of the project three volunteers were sent to the Centre: a doctor (October until December 2015), a midwife (July until October 2015) and a student of medicine (July until October 2015). During their stay in Rushaki the volunteers had following tasks planned:
- Nursing work in the Health Centre
- Midwife work in the Centre’s maternity ward
- Keeping medical records
- Vaccination campaigns for children in the Centre and in the field
- Home visits with patients who, for various reasons, could not come to the Centre themselves
- Educational meetings about hygiene and health prophylaxis addresses to the staff and youths
- Keeping photographical records of performed activities, collecting scientific data
- After returning to Poland carrying out an educational initiative, i.e. organising 4 meetings with Foundation sympathisers and issuing an Information Bulletin Report, which was sent out to those interested in the activities of the Foundation.
In the time period between July 18th and December 31st 2015 Humanitarian Aid Foundation Redemptoris Missio in cooperation with Rushaki Mission executed a project aimed at improving the standards of health care and broadening the access to universal health care. The location of the project was Rushaki, Rwanda. The project directly reached approximately 1 600 patients in ages between 0 and 70 years.
Two volunteers were at the mission between July 23rd 2015 and October 21st 2015, the third one between September 30th and December 31st 2015.
The project directly referred to Millennium Development Goals:
MDG 4: Reduce child mortality by reducing the mortality rate among children under 5 years of age by two thirds.
MDG 5: Improve maternal health care by reducing maternal mortality rate by three quarters
MDG 6: Limit the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
The aforementioned goals were achieved through:
- Work in the Health Centre and keeping medical records. The volunteers worked every day in a consultation office receiving approximately 20 patients daily. Additionally, they were called for emergencies in the evenings or at nights (approximately 20 cases). The volunteers participated in keeping medical records with the help of local staff, because it was written in the local language Kinyarwanda.
- Work at the Centre’s maternity ward, performing perinatal procedures. The volunteers were at great liberty while working at the maternity ward, because they gained trust of the local staff. Due to financial resources from donations it was possible to equip the maternity ward with ambu baby bag, baby scale, heating lamp, obstetric and gynaecological tools. The volunteers delivered 40 babies.
- Conducting vaccination campaigns in the Centre and in the field. The volunteers participated in the vaccination process in the Centre. They vaccinated approximately 100 children.
- Visiting the sick in the villages, performing necessary medical examinations, dressing wounds, control visits with pregnant women. The volunteers regularly visited two pregnant women in the villages during their stay, they examined the women and prescribed them medication. In addition, every Sunday they visited residents of the nearby villages who could not come to the Centre due to poverty or disability.
- Conducting educational activities among the staff and local population concerning hygiene and prophylaxis. The volunteers conducted 5 meetings for personnel (approximately 20 people). Due to the language barrier they could not conduct workshops for local population. In case of recommendations for a patient they used the help of local staff. They also conducted a first aid workshop for 30 students from the school in the mission area.
- Purchase of modern equipment for maternity ward, ambu baby bag, baby scale, heating lamp, obstetric and gynaecological tools.
- Conducting educational initiative, as a part of which an Information Bulletin Report was issued in circulation of 5000 copies. The Bulletin was sent to all people interested in Foundation activities and is being distributed during educational meetings. Three educational meeting have been organised for approximately 100 people.