The New Times (Kigali)

26 January 2013

Rwanda: Kirehe Residents Get Rwf 270 Million Health Centre

Residents of Mpahama sector in Kirehe district have been urged to make good use of the recently opened health centre in their locality.

The call was made by Dr. Bisesa Byiringiro, the Clinical mental Coordinator, Rwanda Biomedical Center/HIV/Division, who presided over the opening of a Rwf270 million health centre on Thursday.

The event began with remarks from medical staff, politicians, and constructors who made the health center a reality.

The authorities took advantage of the launch, to start a campaign against the spread of HIV/Aids.

Mpahama sector, just like other sectors in Kirehe district, faces the threat of the pandemic due to its location, near Rusumo-Kigali highway.

Dr. Byiringiro said the health center would also help the community to check the spread of pandemics including the deadly HIV/Aids.

"I am sure you all know the importance of a health center, particularly when it's near you. Proximity to health services is what all communities cry for. Here you are done and thus must benefit," he told hundreds of jubilating residents.

Recent surveys showed that residents of trading centers and towns along highways were the highly infected and affected by HIV/Aids.

Dr. Byiringiro said one of the services brought near to the residents was HIV test and counselling.

"We must keep alert. HIV/Aids is still a big issue in the country. We have to test ourselves and keep negative. Gone are the days of reckless sex relationships".

Kirehe district mayor, Protais Murayire thanked the government for the new health centre, noting that health care was fundamental in realising sustainable development.

"We can't work when we are sick. The health center will address most the problems you had. Test for HIV as an obligation in order to save yourselves and the people of Rwanda," he said.

Frida Kantarama, 32, a widow, living with HIV/Aids expressed happiness for the new health facility. She told an emotional audience a long story of how she caught the disease, and how her lifestyle changed since then.

"It is now three years since I knew I was HIV positive. I have been on antiretroviral which kept me strong and kicking. So, a health centre like this one will reduce the burden of people like me, who get drugs after walking long distances," she said.

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