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Partners in Health and members of the Government of Rwanda officially opened new Butaro Hospital at the end of January. The 150-bed facility in northern Rwanda was built as part of the ongoing collaboration between PIH and the government to provide access to modern healthcare for the families living in this rural area.
"Butaro is more than a hospital," said Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the opening. "It is a unique story of exceptional people with the desire to see positive change in the world and in communities like the one hosting us today... It is also a story about strong and mutually benefiting partnerships and the fact that when we come together and join forces, commendable results can be achieved."
More than 3,500 members of the local community were employed during construction, which was completed a year earlier than originally scheduled. The construction used primarily local materials, including volcanic stone from the Virunga Mountains.
Four years ago, the 400,000 people living in the the rural Burera district had no doctors at all. Today, the partnership between PIH and the Rwandan government has provided fifteen village health centers with an army of 1,500 community health workers, creating a strong primary care network.
The new hospital has a surgical suite, emergency room, intensive care units, pediatric ward, and IT room. With wireless internet and computers installed, as well as PIH’s partnerships with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, medical staff can obtain expert consultation for difficult cases as well as access online educational resources.
PIH’s Country Director for Rwanda Dr. Peter Drobac expressed the hope that the new Butaro Hospital will become a "model of rural healthcare delivery for the region."
GreaterGood.org supports PIH's efforts to provide healthcare to children around the world through the "Click to Give" program at The Child Health Site and the Gifts That Give More [tm] program.
Photo of Butaro Hospital courtesy of PIH, December 2010