Army Week 2017: Thousands Receive Free Treatment

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By Daniel Sabiiti

Ndikumana is a young man living in Nyagatare, the eastern province of Rwanda.

His health was steadily declining for years, he says he didn’t have the financial resources to pay for medical treatment.

But in May, Ndikumana made his way to an annual two months clinic to receive free treatment from the Special Army week medical camp.

During these medical camp military doctors diagnosed his problem as an acute abdomen and realized that Ndikumana would not live much longer without an operation.

The RDF doctors worked with the local medical professionals in Nyagatare and gave Ndikumana an emergency surgery. His condition treated, and Ndikumana’s life was saved.

Ndikumana’s experience is just one story of the many people receiving medical treatment from short-the Special Army week medical camp teams.

Over 60.000 Rwandans benefitted from free medical treatment during the Special Army week across the country.

Within a month, the Special Army week has recorded scores of residents received free medical treatment especially those with sight defects, dental and voluntary circumcision, courtesy of Rwanda defense force.

The annual two month long exercise which comes ahead of the 23rd Liberation Day Celebration (on 04 July 2017) started on May 4, focused health outreach offering free medical services in orthopedics, dental, ophthalmology and gynecology and infrastructure building.

At least 60.639 residents received proper medical care as a result of RDF medics countrywide outreach programme in collaboration with local leaders.

Out of those treated, 5172 received general surgery, 13858 dental care, 6199 were treated of respiratory diseases.

During the week, intended to treat patients free of charge, successfully operated 16.728 cases with sight defects, 2629 women also got gynecology treatment while 7920 people offered HIV Voluntary Counseling Testing, and 8133 men were voluntarily circumcised.

The men and women who are responsible for the country’s security also conducted blood donation exercises which saw 1368 donate blood at different centers.

So far, all the above medical services have been provided at 30 different Hospitals and Health Centres countrywide.

Dr. Lt Col King Kayondo, the lead Army week doctor said that “the whole exercise was a success because of partnerships with other civilian medics who offered a helping handing in treating citizens.

For Kayondo, the exercise has so far hit the targeted numbers of people and activities which are evaluated at a success of about 80 to 95 percent.

On the infrastructure building the week, which was for the first time, very diversified also has focused on rehabilitation of 219 bridges and 135km of feeder road and 2359 houses built for the vulnerable persons, and 43 more are under construction.

Other environmental activities included- hillside farming with 3462 ha cultivated, construction of water access point facilities, classrooms and sanitation infrastructure, and environmental protection campaign.

So far 18 classrooms have been completed and 13 others are still under construction.  About 2,779 toilets have been put in place to improve sanitation structures. About 8 Km of water supply points were connected in Nyagatare and Nyanza.

While construction of 209 cow sheds and the successful fight against Armyworm outbreak on close to 8,000 hectares countrywide.

Lt Col Ndore Barinda, the officer in- charge of the Army week activities said that the activities address current national concerns beside the core mission of the defense forces.

“Our primary responsibility is to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and maintain security. When there is assured security, we (army) have one enemy to fight- poverty” Barinda said.

A team of 202 RDF medical personnel have been involved in the ongoing outreach mission dubbed ‘Army Week’ since its establishment.

The Army Week 2017 Activities will continue until July 2017.





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