Rwanda: Private Clinics Geared Up for Coronavirus Response

As different government institutions, especially hospitals, are doing what they can to contain the spread of coronavirus in Rwanda, private medical facilities have also not been left behind, The New Times reports.

Located in downtown Kigali, Polyclinique du Plateau is one of the biggest private clinics in the capital that seem to be ready to fight the spread of the virus from all angles.

In the clinic's compound, a large tent has been erected and it is complete with ventilation and according to medics here, this makeshift facility was set up to increase hospital space.

This, they said, gives them the possibility of maintaining distance between those that seek services at the hospital, as a way to prevent the spread of the virus.

According to the clinic's Managing Director, Rose Uwicyeza, the government has done a lot to decentralize services to respond to coronavirus.

She said that at the clinic, they collect samples for suspected cases of coronavirus which they send to the national laboratory for testing.

"The government trained some of our staff including one doctor, one nurse and a lab technician. The training enabled us to collect patient's samples and carry them to the national laboratory where the results are generated," she told The New Times.

She added that they have also been provided with sample-collecting kits to ease the process. They take the samples from the throat and the mouth.

"After getting a suspected patient, we have two isolation rooms where we place them and wait for the results from the national laboratory", Uwicyeza says "We even have data managers who report every day the number of patients we encountered", she says.

The coronavirus response can not only be observed in Nyarugenge-based Polyclinique du plateau in the town.

At the Nyarutarama-based Deva Polyclinique, like other facilities, you cannot get into the clinic before washing your hands.

Taking a temperature test and answering all the questions needed to trace your contacts for further management are the key, before you get any service.

Prof. Alexis Mucumbitsi, DEVA Polyclinic's Director, says that they are ready to play a part in the response to the virus that has ravaged the world.

"When there is suspicion about a case, we isolate the patient, samples are taken and dispatched to the laboratory and we already have two isolation rooms where suspected cases are kept as we wait for the results," Mucumbitsi said.

He added: "If found positive, the patient is taken to the treatment centre. If negative, he can go back home and stay in quarantine depending on the exposure history," he says.

Dr Mucumbitsi told The New Times that one or two confirmed patients' samples might have been taken from DEVA Polyclinic.

In total, Rwanda has 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Health authorities are always in touch with private clinics to inspect whether the measures taken by health facilities for coronavirus pandemic are adhered to.

Dr Antoine Muyombano, the head of Rwanda private medical practitioners' association thanked the health ministry for involving private practitioners in the response towards the pandemic.

"We hail the initiative because it has helped private medics to deal with these cases. Furthermore, we hail health authorities who are in contact day by day to help," he says.

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