Kuzamura Ubuzima – Growing Health Rwanda (2019)

Kuzamura Ubuzima – Growing Health Rwanda (2019)


My name is Laurette Mushimiyimana. I am KU Program Coordinator and legal representative
and public health professional. KU is a nutrition support program which we
called “farming for child health” before. It was founded by Emelie and Medie, two clinicians
from US, together with Ange and Venuste, two Rwandan activists. And the reason for it was that they were working
in the hospital, doing all their best to cure the children. But inspite of that babies in the Neonatology
Department were dying with no side effects, with no infections, but because of hunger. Their mothers were not able to get breast
milk to feed them. And the children were spending long time of
hospitalization because they had no food to eat. Because of that the two mentioned clinicians
were so concerned and they tried to find a solution So when they met me, I was their friend, we
discussed about how to get a solution for that problem. Then I told them how in Rwanda hospitals don’t
feed their patients but the food has to be brought by the family. When it comes to poor families who have no
food in their houses, they will not have extra food to bring in the hospital. So we came up with the solution to start a
program that would support them while they are hospitalized. We started with 30 children so far, then after
that we could see the impact of it. After about one month we could see the impact
of it, because we were giving them morning porridge and lunch and soon after about two
months we could see that babies were no more dying mothers were getting breast milk for
them and the children were spending shorter times of hospital stays. It became a non-profit organization, legally
registered in Rwanda. It is now managed 100% by Rwandans but of
course supported by donations from US and Germany. After 6 months we were lucky to meet a student
group from Germany by the name of “eat to fight your disease” who were doing an internship at the hospital. And they were doing a similar program at the
surgery department. So when we met them we discussed and decided
to reunite the efforts. So the number of patients that we fed grew
from 30 to 60. And then soon after we realized that the hospital
owned a big peace of land that was unused. So through negotiations with the administration
of the hospital, they were able to give us that land for free, which we used and we started
to farm the land, plant organic vegetables, which would save us money to buy vegetables
to have a balanced food for our patients. So soon we were able to feed from 60 to 90
and currently we are feeding 110 patients from different departments. From Pediatrics, Neonatology – mothers who could
not afford to get breast milk for their premature babies – and surgery patients, who would spend
more than six months to one year in the hospital because of lack of food. But last december we also started to add fifteen
mothers more who are in the nearby district hospital who also suffered from the same case
of not having breast milk to feed their premature babies So in total KU is now feeding 125 patients. In our impact report we have seen that in
the last year of 2018 we were able to provide free meals to 16260 patients. We also give health education to our beneficiaries,
agriculture education and we want them to practise what they have learned while they
are hospitalized. So we teach them how to fight malnutrition
once they arrived home, to have their kitchen garden closeby so that they may have vegetables
always throughout the year by the practise of Permagardens that we teach them. And we also have a health educator who would
teach them health education, hygiene and sanitation, family planning so that they may also break
the cycle of poverty by having a small family size as we have seen that the big family size
is the cause of poverty and malnutrition. My name is Cyengayire Sapience. I am the head of the Nutrition department
at the University Teaching Hospital in Butare. The Kuzamura Ubuzima Program is playing a
great role here in the Hospital because the number of malnurished people during hospitalization has decreased because they are fed a very nutritious diet. We used to have many people requiring help who
come from very far with nobody to bring them food but that went down too. I am Umuhoza Vanessa. I am the Assistant Program Coordinator, Health
Educator and Treasurer of Kuzamura Ubuzima. I have been working here since 2016. At that time we were feeding 90 patients and
now we have 110 which is a good progress. What is good really in that, is that we have
70 % of women and children in our patients list. Luckily last time in 2018 we had a peace corps
volunteer who managed to get a grant so we were able to give our beneficiaries, especially
the discharged ones, goats and chicken to help them to move from their poverty to an
other stage. Once they give offsprings those offsprings
will be given to other discharged beneficiaries. Hi, my name is Alexis Havugimana and I am
in KU as Wellness and Agriculture Trainer. In 2017 we have inserted the Wellness Program
in KU because there was a problem with the beneficiaries of being stressed and depressed
because of the many problems they have in the hospital. We are teaching them breathing excercises
and stretching to raise their mind to help them to respond to the stressful situations. So KU just started growing organic food for
our patients using the Biointensive technique, a technique that maximizes the production
of food on small plot. And more importantly it makes the food available
on table on a daily basis. The technique also maximizes the adaption
to climate change which is a big problem we are facing today. So the technique is taught to our beneficiaries
how just they can apply it in their farm when they go back to their family. And it can help them to adapt to climate change. This organization saves the lifes of the people. Those people, they are vulnerable, they need
our assistance. So everyone who put that much effort in supporting
them. I really thank him or thank her for the great
heart to support. And I believe we humans if we work together
we can change the lifes of others and and all of us we can be in a good world, living in
a harmony with the people and the environment as well. So thank you so much guys for helping the
organisation to keep going on. Thank you!

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