29 January 2013

Rwanda: Chub Expands With New Health Facilities

The University Teaching Hospital of Butare (CHUB) has inaugurated new health facilities for the maternity, neonatology, emergency and administration units worth Frw 1.8 billion, funded by Belgium through the Belgian Technical Corporation (BTC). The newly completed facility was provisionally handed over yesterday to the management of CHUB.

Officials said the building still needs to be outfitted with necessary medical equipment before it becomes operational, which will be soon. According to Dr Jules Ndoli Minega, medical director at CHUB, the facility will help them to receive more patients and offer better services.

"It does not only increase our ability, but also medical standards," Minega noted, adding that there has been an increased number of patients at the hospital due to health insurance scheme that facilitate many to access health services.

The hospital now receives patients from 13 neighboring district hospitals. The referral hospital was relying only on 20 beds in neonatology unit and 70 beds in maternity ward. But with the new facilites, it will count 500 beds in total.

For Minega, the support brings in another advantage for the neonatology unit since the existing one was separated from maternity ward; which could delay treatment of newborns when necessary. "When there are newborns that have to undergo intensive care, we must run a certain distance, but now the advantage is that the maternity is next to neonatology," he said.

The official also mentioned that the hospital is going to have an emergency unit which was not there.

Parsa Ahmad, the program officer at BTC, noted that the building is part of a bigger project which also financed a laboratory at national University of Rwanda that is meant to facilitate research into areas aimed at improving people's welfare whilethe hospital's pediatric unit was equipped in the past by the same project.

The official also mentioned that the governments of Rwanda and Belgium last year signed a four-year indicative cooperation program worth €160 million focusing on three sectors namely energy, health and decentralization, where €55 million is allocated to the health sector.

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