(L to R) Laurie Weathers, Cindy Carmichael, Cathy Dirickson, RN, Dr. Adam Cotton and Eric Pianalto visited Kacyiru Police Hospital in Kigali.
The Kacyiru Police Hospital (KPH) serves the general public and inmates as patients. It is a 60-bed hospital with two operating suites, gynecology, obstetrics and neonatology, lab and dental. By the first of February 2014, leadership hopes to be able to provide X-ray and toxicology services, too. They are uniquely focused to provide a gender based violence program as well as post-mortem and DNA testing to assist with evidence for criminal cases. KPH now has a new wing under construction that will add 97 beds for a total of 157 beds and they will begin to offer in-patient services for Internal Medicine and Pediatrics as well as have a comprehensive emergency department. The hospital’s leadership has a vision to become a referral hospital that provides specialized health services at an international level. The team hopes to help them achieve that by reviewing services and plans under development, including a building currently under construction and programs, like gender based violence recovery and prevention.
Here are some photos from Kacyiru. We hope you enjoy them!
“I met a young physician at my hospital on Day 1 that just desperately wants to learn more so he can be a better physician and provide the best care possible to his fellow Rwandans. The sincerity with which he expressed his desire to learn more with the limited opportunities available moved me. He had a heart of Mercy for his own people. These are the people I really want us to help – people who want to improve the lives of their own.” – Robin Vorel, Mercy 4 Ubuzima team coordinator
(L to R) Robin Vorel, Karyl James, RN, Jim Gebhart and Dr. Steve Goss visited Kibagabaga Hospital in Kigali.
Kibagabaga is a 230-bed hospital that serves sixteen health clinics in the area. Its specialties include emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, neonatology, ear, nose and throat, mental health, imaging, lab and some general surgery. The team’s biggest observation was the incredibly dedicated leadership and staff’s knowledge – and their limited resources that have most likely impacted their ability to drive improvements in the hospital. The team identified several things leadership can implement to improve care.
We hope you enjoy seeing some photos from Kibagabaga!
“My most moving experience: A new water well was being dedicated and the people of Rwanda were so jubilant. It was a ceremony with dancing and music…all for water. Something we take for granted.” — Cathy Dirickson, RN, Mercy 4 Ubuzima team nurse
“For me, the most moving part about this trip was the connection we had with people. Everyone welcomed us with open arms and made us feel comfortable.” – Trisha Ponds, RN, Mercy 4 Ubuzima team nurse
“Seeing medicine from a different perspective, in a foreign country, helps me be a better physician here in the U.S.” – Dr. Jeff Reames, Mercy 4 Ubuzima team physician
“The people of Rwanda are hard working and gracious people, who have a drive to be a great nation.” – Eric Pianalto, Mercy 4 Ubuzima team administrator
Karen Gebhart, Jo Ellen Peterson, Tina Reames and Susan Goss, affectionately known on our trip as “The Spouses” had opportunities to volunteer elsewhere in Rwanda while their husbands were working with Kigali hospitals. It sounds like they really touched some lives while they were there. We asked Karen Gebhart to share some of her photos and experiences, and she was happy to oblige. Read for yourself, below. Thanks, Karen!
On the first day, we were invited to visit a program called “Duhugurane” which means, “Let us learn from each other.” It is led by Jamie Boiles, Oklahoma native, living in Rwanda. The program aims to help young women 18-25 years old discover and utilize the strengths and abilities they have within themselves in their personal and professional lives to obtain sustainable livelihoods. The young ladies are very impressive and have great aspirations. The spouses enjoyed their time visiting with the young ladies, encouraging them and sharing goody bags filled with personal hygiene products.
On the second day, the spouses had the privilege to meet the incoming Oklahoma Christian Presidential Scholars from Rwanda along with some current OC Rwandan students. We enjoyed sharing about life in Oklahoma, discussing concerns of traveling outside of Rwanda along with answering questions about being a college student in America. The students were given “Thunder” basketball t-shirts, Sonic gift cards along with Mercy lip balm and hand sanitizer. Afterwards, the spouses treated the students to pizza at a local restaurant while getting to visit with them one on one.
On the third day after meeting with President Kagame, the spouses were invited to visit a farm outside of Kigali. A couple named Faith and Roger Shaw own the farm. They provide for several orphans by meeting their needs for food, shelter and education. Gifts of diapers, formula, clothes, candy and toys for all ages were given to the family provided by the spouses and Mercy employees.
Final reports are underway and we’ve had some time to wrap our heads around what we learned and what’s next. Here’s a quick Q&A with Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City President – and visionary for Mercy 4 Ubuzima, Jim Gebhart.
What was the most common finding from the hospital visits?
No question, the common finding was the dedication and spirit of the doctors, administrators and staff we met. Each of the teams reported how much potential their hospital had, and what incredibly intelligent and invested people worked there. They’re doing a lot of good in Kigali, but they’re limited by resources. Equipment and ongoing education seemed to be the most immediate concerns.
How did the leaders and staff of the hospitals you visited react?
We were overwhelmed at how warmly we were received. They treated us like family and even took us to lunch and hosted us in their homes. We continue to communicate with them, as we talk about next steps for our organizations.
What’s next for Mercy 4 Ubuzima?
Our last days in Rwanda, we presented some overarching themes of our findings to hospital leadership. But, we didn’t get into specific details and recommendations. That’s what we’re doing now. Each team is compiling an executive summary and 50 summary reports for each of the criteria in the Joint Commission International Essentials of Health Care Quality and Patient Safety, which we used to “survey” the hospitals we visited. We’ll send those reports to hospital leaders and Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, and see how we can help close any gaps we found.
We just got back to the states and uploaded photos from the rest of our trip, including photos from the monthly Saturday morning community clean-up we attended in Kigali that you see here. You’ll also see photos from our visit to the Rwanda Genocide Memorial, a water well drill site and dedication we visited, our time at Akagera National Park, and our adventure in Volcanoes National Park, where we went on a gorilla trek.
We have some catching up to do, we know. We’ll fill you in over the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy some of our photos here: http://bit.ly/16jgoNU