Constructed in 2008, Gikomero Health Center was constructed by full technical and financial support of Health Development and Performance (HDP). As various people explain, this hospital is a big impact to Gikomero as a sector since it was the first health center in the whole sector. “Before the construction of this health centre, our Population traveled long distance beyond five kilometers or more than hour to seek medical services elsewhere, such as in the surrounding areas like Kayanga, Nyagasambu, Rwamagana, Ndera, Bumbogo and everywhere." Mujawayezu Aurelie Deputy head of this hospital testifies. This center also helps people from neighboring sectors too.
Since 2009, this health center has a large variety of medical services it offers. Health care services are rendered in the center through various departments including but not limited to the observation and well equipped laboratory for different a whole range of tests. The Health center has concluded collaboration agreements with health insurances like RSSB, MMI, and many more private health insurances to allow patients access healthcare services easily.
It is 7h30 AM, we are traveling from Kimironko to Gikomero Health Centre, 20 Km away from the Headquarter of Health Development and Performance (HDP) organization, one of the Development Partners of Gasabo District.
This health center shows the mission of HDP, which consists of strengthening the Rwandan communities’ in particular and African in general in implementation of joint or individual actions by using available and appropriate means in contributing to achieving the welfare of the population; improving the quality of social services; encouraging the population to actively participate in development, to use and appreciate services and innovating adapted solutions to newly identified needs.
Jean Claude Hassan Mpakaniye explains, “We use the Health Center as an opportunity to deliver to the Public quality health care service while at the same time providing them with the right information about the health on Communicable and Non communicable diseases.“
On Saturday September 22, 2018 Health Development and Performance (HDP) held three events in line with its continuous support to improve lives of local community in Gikomero Sector of Gasabo District, in the City of Kigali. They visited the Rutunga genocide memorial center, visited the health center and later visited genocide survivors in Rudakabukirwa Village.
HDP Staff started the visit to Rutunga Genocide Memorial to Honor the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. After brief Introduction on the massacres that happened in Rutunga, HDP Staff, Sector officials and the Gasabo District representatives toured the memorial and observed a minute of silence to honor all Tutsis killed during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis. They also placed flowers on the grave which accommodates over 100 remains of Tutsis. The president of “Ibuka” in Rutunga sector pointed out that many Tutsis were thrown in Lake Muhazi. This is why there was a building built near this lake as a remembrance site. Speaking at the Event, the Deputy Legal Representative of HDP board Nsengiyumva Bernard said that this action is a way to comfort survivors, honoring the departed and to make sure genocide never happens again.
After visiting the Rutunga Genocide Memorial Centre, HDP delegation and Gasabo district officials headed to Gikomero Health Centre to officially handover to the health Centre a well-constructed security fence surrounding the Gikomero Health Centre which was also constructed with a 100% contribution of HDP. As explained by Nsengiyumva Bernard, this fence cost about 15 million Rwandan Francs and it was made to ensure the security for both the health centre and its patients.
After the event, the delegation also joined Genocide Survivors in Rudakabukirwa village to celebrate the electricity grid which was connected to their houses, thanks to seven million Rwandan francs provided by HDP as part of the continued support to the wellbeing of local population of Gikomero Sector. Beneficiaries were happy of this project and they thanked HDP for it but as Mukantaganda Florence pointed out there were other challenges like access to clean water that were hindering their wellbeing.
In his speech, Mberabahizi Raymond pointed out that partners like HDP are key to reaching to district projects. He said “It is very inspiring to see a Rwandan NGO partnering with the District to improve the socio-economic lives of citizens.” According to HDP officials, the organization will continue to work closely with the district to make sure that its contribution is playing positive role in the development of Gasabo District in general and in Gikomero sector particulary.
On January 23, 2019, an HDP delegation made up of Mr. Valens Habyarimana and Mr. Jean Claude Hassan Mpakaniye went on a field trip to visit the loan group members of “Twite ku buzima” project.
At the request of Masaka Catholic Parish, the group members were visited where they have been operating at Kabuga Trading Center. These group members are part of different loan groups that have been supported by among other partners the Masaka Catholic Parish. In response to their request for a loan and as a result of due diligence and deep assessment, HDP has resolved to provide the financial support. Following testimonies from members of the groups, namely Twigire and Baho Neza, the participants made a presentation on how important and helpful the loans were to the members who, in addition to the savings made on a regular basis, expressed their joy and willingness to keep working with HDP.
As part of its mission, HDP used the opportunity to help improve the living standards for the group members who were granted a loan amount of twenty million Rwandan Francs (RWF 20,000,000) disbursed through the subsidiary company of HDP, Health Investment Management (HIM Ltd) at a competitive interest rate.
The group members kept talking about their success stories in their various businesses and numerous benefits for the members such as available Mutuelle health scheme, school fees for their kids, members’ timely contributions, etc.
Among the beneficiaries who thanked HDP for the loan, there are such entrepreneurs as tailors who acquired a sewing machine, more fabric to improve their business and one client named Mrs. Emelyse Batamuliza who managed to improve on the chicken raising business. The latter’s chicken business started on a very small scale, and later on grew to become a good business with increased profit thanks to the loan provided by HDP.
Given the request from the visited members for additional loan in the future, the group members were informed that this will be taken into account in line with HDP mission.
HDP being a public health organization, take actions is creating health solutions. It is in that angle that in 2008, with the help of the Gikomero population built the Gikomero Health Center. It was a huge step taken for the people since it was a way to bring healthcare close to them, decreasing the trajectory and cost to access health services. In 2008 when the Health Center opened, there were only three doctors to take care of patients. Eleven years later, there are ten doctors and four laboratory specialists.
In addition to the number of doctors and nurses, this health center follows the government goal to have a health post at least in each and every cell of the country. It is in that same goal that now, Gikomero Health Center has two health posts under its responsibilities: Mukuyu health post and Kibara health post. Both of these health posts are still under the responsibility and get the full support of HDP.
However, even though the journey seems to have been great so far, this health center still have more requirements. Mukafurere Nizane Gentille, the head of this facility pointed out that the service of Ophthalmology (eye medicine) needs to be restored because it was not operating the way it should. She also added on that they need the service of stomatology (dentistry) to be opened because many people ask for it and are required to be transferred to the district hospital to get the desired treatments.
Apart from improving the healthcare services directly, to empower health counselors in different villages of Gikomero sector, HDP helped them to start a pig rearing project. This project was meant to inspire them to invest in other projects and to grow whichever capital they have. Their cooperative operates under and is supervised by the Gikomero Health Center authorities.
HDP involvement in Gikomero goes beyond just health. For a better and improved life, HDP also put electricity in a village of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi survivors where a current transformer that would serve the whole village was installed. After installing the current transformer, HDP also assured the distribution of the electricity from the main electric plant to the village and from house to house.
HDP involvement was definitely one of the key factor why the Gikomero business center started developing. To illustrate that Jean Claude Hassan Mpakaniye explained that the center came from one old and traditional shop to more than thirty or more advanced shops. There was also a construction of the Gikomero modern market, the construction of a village with houses built in a four in one setting. All these infrastructures made the small village turn into a town.