In Rwanda, medical staff at the Mumeya clinic started vaccinating people. In Rusumo, the clinic serves as a site for COVID testing, tracing and public education. In Nyarabuye, grassroots leaders are celebrating the completion of a new medical clinic that will open this month to serve 20,000 people.
In each case, the decision to build these clinics came from the community, not the government or international NGOs. Residents of Nyarubuye launched their campaign to construct the clinic after participating in community organizing training and then asking hundreds of their neighbors what changes they wanted to see in the community. Community and government leaders continue conducting a health education campaign about coronavirus. This community-based approach is widely recognized as essential to any successful public health system.
In Nyange, leaders have completed construction of a storage and pumping system to bring water from the valley to the highway rest stop and market. They are now planning construction of modern toilets and a roadside market so travelers have place to stop, rest and shop for farm goods. Finding ways to provide sustainable income is a critical question for rural communities in Rwanda and other African countries.