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Based in Ruyigi, Burundi, the Rema Hospital is dedicated to mothers and their children. In Kirundi the word «rema» expresses support, comfort and sympathy for a person suffering difficulties. It summarizes beautifully this project launched by the Shalom House (Maison Shalom) to relieve vulnerable populations.
The Shalom House was born in Ruyigi in the midst of the 2003 interethnic massacres, as Maggy Barankitse adopted 25 orphans, victims of the civil war. Today the Shalom House is a world recognized organization helping over 10’000 children orphaned by the civil war or aids. The Rema Hospital, which was officially inaugurated on January 22nd 2008 and already offers a range of services, constitutes an important step in the realization of the Shalom House’s vision.
War always exacerbates existing problems in a country, and the health system in Burundi was no exception. Not only is the quantity of hospitals vastly insufficient for the local population, but what services are offered are largely unsatisfactory.
The Rema Hospital has been conceived in response to this situation. It strives to be a reference in infrastructural functionality, equipment quality, security, hygiene and the quality of the care offered to the local population.
The Rema Hospital aims particularly to reduce pregnant women’s mortality rate by offering them medical monitoring, to act for the limitation of the risk of HIV/aids transmission from mother to child and to facilitate access to health for vulnerable populations by collaborating with the Ministry of Public Health. An education centre providing information on hygiene, nutrition, vaccines and birth regulation is an integral part of the project.
An article on Maggy’s story and the creation of the Maison Shalom, here