Imagine having to walk 10 miles to get help for your child’s respiratory infection. This was the reality for community members living in Mwulire, the only sector in Rwamagana without a health center.
Constructing health centers where they don’t currently exist is one of the critical ways that Health Builders is strengthening primary health care in rural Rwanda. Mwulire needed a health center, so we leapt into action.
While working closely with Rwamagana District, we mobilized funds and completed construction in February 2023. After a final Ministry of Health (MOH) assessment, the new facility was officially approved to operate as a health center and was launched on May 29, 2023.
This new health center serves a population of more than 33,000. It is a 72-room facility with a total building area of over 21,400 square feet.
But health centers are more than just buildings — they are where Health Builders’ core work happens. Ensuring sustainable, quality care starts with mentoring and training the staff who provide care. Now that the health center is open, Health Builders will continue to support the health center staff to improve the care, safety, and health outcomes for patients.
The May 29 opening ceremony was a joyous occasion! Community Health Workers performed traditional dances and local community members expressed their gratitude. They celebrated the close proximity to quality health care and how it will shape the future wellbeing of their families and the overall community.
Many esteemed guests who are actively involved in making health care accessible in rural Rwanda attended the event:
- Mr. Zachee Iyakaremye, Permanent Secretary of the Rwanda MOH & guest of honour
- Al Pace and Kristin Morch of the Pace Family Foundation, who have funded the construction of five health centers and three health posts in Rwanda
- Better World Rwanda, a fellow nonprofit that focuses on rural development, sustainable livelihood, and good education
- Health Builders Board of Directors & Staff
- Rwamagana District Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Social Affairs
- Director General of Rwamagana LT Teaching Hospital
Constructing the new Mwulire Health Center wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of the Pace Family Foundation, Better World Rwanda, Engalynx, Jim and Katie Stewart, and the Rwamagana District. On behalf of Health Builders, thank you to all who helped make this project possible!