About 20,000 residents in the Western Rwanda revealed they face a short supply of medicine; have no pharmacy in their area and only one Health Centre serving more than 18425 residents in the whole Sector.
Residents of Nkombo Sector, an Island located in Rusizi District claim they get to a nearby health Centre for treatment but no medicine. When they are prescribed with medication; patients say they walk for five hours to buy medicine.
Donate Habarurema, a resident told this website “Sometimes we are prescribed with medicine not available at our health Centre and have to walk long distance to Kamembe sector to where we buy at pharmacies”
Most residents who talked to Rwanda Eye pleaded for the government or private sector to bring them at least one pharmacy in the area.
“We need at least one pharmacy here to save us from a five hour long walk for medicine; it would help us a great deal if that is done” said Muziranenge Maombi,another resident
Munyeshyaka Vincent, state minister in local government paid visit to Nkombo Sector on February, 27.
” The government doesn’t build pharmacies or deal with medicine business, it is done by private sector specifically entrepreneurs, they should think on such problem because it is even a business opportunity. We have urged your local leaders to mobilize and encourage entrepreneurs invest in pharmacies”
As the Nkombo Island residents complain of luck of medicine, a team of 20 exhibitors of health equipment from Shanghai – China are in Rwanda for the Medical Instrument Trade Conference due to take place on March 1 – 2 in Kigali next month.
The praised community health workers supposed to be in every village in Rwanda have surprisingly never been in Nkombo Island despite their health services across the rest of the country.
Community health workers reportedly existed in Rwanda for years even before malaria resurgence in the Great Lakes Zone; trained to treat malaria as part of the wider government battle against malaria. Health Ministry failed to explain why Nkombo Island has not been on government health plan.
Nkombo sector is comprised of five sectors and accommodates over 18425 residents and the population is growing.