Wednesday 27 October 2021 | The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès visited Nyarugenge District Hospital on the sidelines of the Second African Union-European Union Ministerial Meeting convened in Kigali, Rwanda. The hospital was built with Belgian funding by the Belgian development agency Enabel.
The hospital has been in operation since 1 December 2020. It is part of the health programme implemented by Enabel as part of the Belgian government's cooperation with the Central African country. The programme is called “Ubuzima Burambye” which means 'long healthy life' in Kinyarwanda.
With its highest standard of oxygen therapy and its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, Nyarugenge District Hospital is now serving as national Covid 19 treatment centre. It responded to the big surge in new corona virus infections early in 2021.
In Rwanda, as in many other African countries, the pandemic is not yet under control. Just under 2 million people have been fully vaccinated so far, which is a low vaccination rate in a total population of almost 13 million. The pandemic flared up very quickly in early 2021, but has since slowed down. The hospital treated 5237 patients so far, the vast majority of whom were treated in the outpatient department.
The 120-bed hospital was built to provide access to quality health care to over 330,000 inhabitants. They did not have access to a hospital in their district, which was among the causes for high morbidity and mortality rates.
The newly-built facility provides full services including curative and preventive consultations, laboratory and radiology services, surgery, a maternity and neonatal unit, a high care unit, pediatrics, internal medicine and emergencies. Medical records are fully digitised so that doctors and nurses can access to patients records in confidentiality and at any needed time. Laboratory results, x-ray imaging will be automatically included in the medical records. Prescriptions will be automated so that pharmacy services can provide prescribed treatment in an efficient way. The hospital will also provide primary health care services and oversee six health centres in the catchment area.
The total construction cost amounted to 6 million euros and medical and non-medical equipment procured so far amounts to 2 million euros.
Currently, the hospital has a capacity of 120 beds. It is planned that a second phase of construction of additional buildings will increase the capacity to 300 beds. It will also allow for additional much needed services such as ophthalmology, physiotherapy, mental health, and other specialties as needed.
The hospital will greatly improve the access to quality health care in Nyarugenge District. It is expected to deliver high standards of care and to be part of the Kigali hospital network and ensure efficient patient management and referral in Kigali.
The design of the hospital was initiated in 2016 and the construction started in January 2018. The first patients were received on 1 December 2020.