News of Rwanda (Kigali)

19 July 2012

Rwanda: First Cancer Center Comes to Rwanda

The former US president, Mr. Bill Clinton will today take part in the official opening of the First National Cancer Center in Butaro, located in rural Burera district, in the Northern Province of Rwanda.

The Cancer center was built with the support of the Clinton Foundation, and Partners in Health. The center will be the first of its kind in Rwanda and the first to be constructed in rural areas of eastern Africa.

The Clinton foundation, founded by Bill Clinton after serving as president of the US, has supported the health promotion programme in Rwanda. Four years ago, there was not a single doctor to serve the 400,000 people of a northern district of Rwanda, but the foundation catered for that.

The new Butaro Hospital facility was officially opened by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, on January 24th 2011. The hospital has facility such as: surgical suite, emergency room, intensive care units, pediatric ward, and IT room.

The hospital aims take lead in using information technology to aid patient care. Wireless internet is available throughout the hospital campus, and laptop computers are in place at every nursing station. Through PIH's partnerships with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, medical staff will be able to access online educational resources and obtain expert consultation for difficult cases.

With at least two community health workers based in every village in the district, residents are visited regularly, and sometimes daily, to be assessed for signs of disease or malnutrition; treated and monitored for drug compliance; or accompanied to a clinic.

Built in just two years - in collaboration with Partners In Health, Rwanda's Ministry of Health, and the Clinton Foundation, Butaro Hospital has 150 beds to cater for admissions. Butaro hospital is hailed for representing a major sign for quality health care in Rwanda and the entire region.

Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, will be part of the hospital official inauguration, alongside many foreign and local health practitioners and friends.

According to the World Health Organisation (OMS), it is projected that at least 16million people in the world will have cancer by the year 2020; with 70 per cent of the patients from developing countries, including Rwanda.

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