Dr. Sharon's Rwanda appeal

03 September 2010

I have just returned from my fourth visit to Rwanda where I have been working at Kirambi Health Centre. You may know, over the last 3 years as part of my sabbatical, I have spent over 3 months working as a doctor in Rwanda and Uganda and have formed very strong links with the people of Kirambi, Rwanda.

During my time there I have seen almost a thousand patients, using the consultation as a teaching tool for the nurses. We have taught the nurses how to professionally develop via weekly in house teaching session with the help of a library we have set up. This visit has been very exciting. I focused my time on helping set up a Family Planning Clinic in the village, teaching the Government funded nurses on how to deliver artificial family panning for the first time to the women of Kirambi. I also ran workshops with the help of a community social worker to post natal and antenatal groups. We have also furnished the family planning clinic and paid for it to be decorated.

Kirambi Health Centre, run by the Medical Missionaries of Mary, looks after a population of 10,000 people who are some of the poorest people in the world, surviving on less than 25p a day with an average life expectancy of 46 years. Malaria is rife and 26 % of the children are malnourished. There is no electricity, no running water, no transport and the nearest hospital is a 4 hour walk. There is a staff of 20 (12 nurses, 8 community workers). The Health Centre runs outpatient, HIV, TB, antenatal and malnutrition clinics. They also run farming, public health and clean water projects. There are beds there for admission of sick patients and a maternity ward. I have been inspired by the amazing work done in the Health Centre. The team never fails to amaze me, what they do with minimal resources is quite astounding. With so few doctors in Rwanda, these nurses provide an extraordinary level of care to their people.

The Health Centre wants to set up a Health Outpost Satellite, 3 hours walk away in Cyahafi. This will allow them to run immunisation, HIV, TB and antenatal clinics. They will also teach the local population simple public health measures – nutrition, disease prevention and hygiene. There will be classes on community building skills. Most importantly the people who attend the health outpost will be sign posted to the new Family Planning Clinic. The Health Outpost will provide basic health services for a very vulnerable population. The MMM have put together a business plan and have funding to provide the staffing and transport to the proposed Health Outpost clinic – they have a plot of land but they do not have a building! The building will cost £8728. It will have a class room, 2 consultation rooms and 2 pit latrines. The on going running cost and maintenance will be minimal. With quite modest funding this project will make a huge difference.

Now this is where you come in – I and two other friends are walking the Coast to Coast walk. We hope you might consider sponsoring us? This is a 190 mile walk over 12 days from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. I know that 100% of your money will be spent on the project and if we are lucky enough to raise more than our target we have a list of other worthwhile projects at the Centre.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I can interest you in this small but life transforming project.

I know how generous you are and understand if you feel you want to donate to your hard earned money elsewhere – however if you feel you want to help me in this project you can go to the justgiving website
Best wishes Sharon Mitchell

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