New-look hospital unveiled in Burundi

From the archive.
Stephen Burgess opens the new building at Matana hospital as Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi and government representatives look on

CMS-backed health centres now among best in country as major investment pays off

Brand new hospital facilities have already attracted new doctors to work in Matana in central Burundi, thanks to a major grant from CMS made possible through a generous legacy.

A much-needed new administration block, isolation ward and laboratory have just been unveiled at the church-run hospital.

The new block at Matana has provided four extra consulting rooms – facilities that mean the hospital has been able to recruit new doctors.

The hospital is now among the best-equipped in the country, says CMS transcultural manager Stephen Burgess, who was given the honour of cutting the ribbon at the official inauguration ceremony.

'It is great to see the fruits of everyone's labour in this fantastic new building,' he said. 'It's a good partnership between the Anglican Church, the Ministry of Health and CMS.

'The fact that the Burundi Ministry of Health have since upgraded the hospital to district status will improve services and make a real difference to people's lives.'

Thanks to the quality of the equipment in the new laboratory, many more medical tests can be conducted on site, so patients won't have to travel to a health facility in Bujumbura.

In partnership with the Anglican Church and the Ministry of Health, CMS has backed several significant healthcare projects in Burundi – to the tune of £100,000 – which are already making a difference for those most at risk and vulnerable in the country.

In Gitega diocese CMS has helped provide much-needed accommodation for nursing staff and a new isolation ward at a health centre at Nyankanda – formerly a leprosy hospital. The new staff house spells good news for attracting nursing staff, who can now live safely on site, without having to travel long distances to get to work.

'After facilities were upgraded, the government provided more doctors and specialists to work at the centres, plus new laboratory materials. These centres are now among the best equipped in the country – attracting more local people to make use of the services,' added Stephen.

Through these integrated health programmes, CMS and the Church of Burundi are seeking to assist those most vulnerable – including children, orphans, young people and women – especially in the area of malaria and HIV/AIDS prevention.

But there is still a long way to go. Countrywide the challenges are immense. As the Anglican Church of Burundi puts it, the drain of good medical practitioners to other parts of the world leaves the country depleted in terms of adequate health provision. There is a need for the expertise and compassion of Christian doctors and nurses.

Published 21 September 2010

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