December 8, 2018
By Dr. Christian Mazimpaka
In October, PWRDF partner Partners In Health Rwanda (PIH), known locally as Inshuti Mu Buzima, was pleased to welcome Global Affairs Canada Senior International Development Officer Ina Lukac-Orange to visit health care staff and All Mothers and Children Count (AMCC) Project’s beneficiaries. The tour started at PIH’s training centre and Rwinkwavu Hospital, one of the three hospitals supported by PIH.
The Director General of the hospital, Dr. Michel Habiyaremye, met with Lukac-Orange together with the Deputy Executive Director Antoinette Habinshuti who provided a detailed tour of the hospital, highlighting parts pertaining to the four-year AMCC project that is funded in part by the Government of Canada. “The whole district is quite impressive with the training centre adjacent to health facilities,” she said.
The hospital visit focused on neonatology and maternity. Lukac-Orange was impressed by the quality of care being delivered at the health facilities when she visited and she was happy to see medical equipment (hospital beds, infant warmers, cardiotopography machines) purchased by the AMCC Project being used and supporting care for women and newborns. She also took time to talk to patients and health care providers in the wards.
“I spoke to one young woman who just delivered her baby a few hours before and she already had a family planning patch on her arm. She said she was planning for three children and spacing them out with three years in between. This is a cultural shift, to see women come out very strongly in favor of family planning. You see it in the cooperatives as well, women have much more confidence and initiative than men.”
The visit continued in Kirehe the same day and included farmers’ cooperatives with beneficiaries of the food security component of the AMCC Project known as the Program on Social and Economic Rights (POSER). Farmers shared their success stories from being in the POSER program, what they have learned since joining the program. Lukac-Orange visited the home of Safina, a POSER beneficiary, who was able to renovate her house and has bought a cow from agriculture and livestock inputs received from the AMCC Project.
“There were a large group of people at the nutrition demonstration,” says Lukac-Orange. “There were lots of meaningful conversations with people talking about their lives. The rice field that was given to the cooperatives was almost ready to be harvested. Everyone was hip deep in the water trying to divert what looked like way too much water for the field.”
The second day of the visit, Lukac-Orange visited a youth meeting in Nyamirama where she had conversation with those seeking Sexual Reproductive Health services.
“There were both girls and boys. I spent about an hour in a very interesting conversation, talking about what they do, why they joined the club. They asked me in return about youth in Canada.”
Habinshuti shared that during the debrief meeting she had with Lukac-Orange “she was impressed about the work we are doing together with PWRDF and the progress we are making in the community.”
In an interview after the trip, Lukac-Orange said “there is little that they’re not doing well. The attention to detail is extraordinary and it is a comprehensive program.” Lukac-Orange noted that staff feel a sense of ownership and that they are working for the benefit of their country.
– with files from Janice Biehn. Dr. Christian Mazimpaka is the AMCC Project Manager at PIH Rwanda.