Rwanda's Butaro Hospital Opens its Doors

Posted on Jan 25, 2011


Rwandan President Paul Kagame cuts the ribbon to open Butaro Hospital.
View a slideshow of the new facility and its inauguration.


Aerial view of Butaro Hospital (photo taken December 2010).

On January 24, Butaro Hospital officially opened its doors in northern Rwanda.

The flagship 150-bed facility was built as part of the ongoing collaboration between Partners In Health and the government of Rwanda.

"Butaro is more than a hospital," said Rwandan President Paul Kagame. "It is a unique story of exceptional people with the desire to see positive change in the world and in communities like the one hosting us today... It is also a story about strong and mutually benefiting partnerships and the fact that when we come together and join forces, commendable results can be achieved."

The facility features an innovative design intended to harmonize with the local environment and reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections. More than 3,500 members of the local community were employed during construction, which was completed a year earlier than scheduled. Wherever possible, the hospital was built using local materials, including volcanic stone from the Virunga Mountains.

Read more about the construction and design of the hospital.

Tours of the facility included visits to the surgical suite, emergency room, intensive care units, pediatric ward, and IT room. The hospital aims to be a leader in using information technology to aid patient care. Wireless Internet is available throughout the hospital campus, and laptop computers are in place at every nursing station. Through PIH’s partnerships with Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, medical staff will be able to access online educational resources and obtain expert consultation for difficult cases.

Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, addressed the assembled guests and praised health-sector leaders in the government of Rwanda.

PIH Country Director for Rwanda, Dr. Peter Drobac, said, “We will continue working with our partners in the government to ensure that this beautiful facility becomes a model of rural healthcare delivery for the region.”

Learn more about Butaro Hospital.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (center left) and PIH co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer (center right) tour Butaro Hospital. View a slideshow of the new facility and its opening.

Read coverage of the inauguration in South Africa's Sunday Times.

Read coverage of the inauguration in Rwanda's New Times.

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