Rwandan nurses pledge support during coronavirus outbreak

On 23 March 2020 at 05:48

Rwandans who completed studies in Nursing but who work in other sectors in Rwanda have joined hands with medical doctors to fight against the spread of coronavirus.

The ministry of health announced that 19 patients have so far tested positive for coronavirus and strict preventive measures have been established to counter further spread.

In a bid to successfully fight the virus, medical doctors have been trained about the symptoms of coronavirus, prevention, and treatment.

Rwandans who completed Nursing programs but don’t work in the health sector have pledged support to medical doctors amidst coronavirus outbreak.

Kirenga Juvens, one of the nurse practitioners told IGIHE "during this crisis, it is our responsibility as Rwandans to contribute to curbing the spread of the virus. My contribution as a certified nurse practitioner will undoubtedly come in handy. We have seen over the past years Rwandans who have made a contribution to various initiatives in Rwanda such as unity and reconciliation, Gacaca without prior knowledge to it. We believe our support is needed given that we have completed studies in the health sector,"

Currently, 67 nurse practitioners and midwives have pledged their support and have received certification from Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union (RNMU)

Kirenga said that they have already requested for permits to various health institutions in Rwanda to start working as soon as possible.

"We are waiting for work permits from concerned authorities so we can start supporting medical doctors in the fight against coronavirus."

On Saturday, March 21st, 2020, Dr. Utumatwishima Abdallah, Rwamagana Hospital Director General wrote via Twitter that a bigger task force was needed for Rwanda to successfully combat coronavirus.

"There are a lot of nurse practitioners and other Rwandans who completed studies in the health sector but took a different career path. We need their support during this critical time because COVID-19 patients need appropriate care but other patients too cannot be left unattended to.”

Rwanda is one of the countries with a relatively low number of health care specialists compared to the needed number.

In January 2020, André Gitembagaza, RNMU President told Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) that one midwife in Rwanda cares for 4700 patients.

Patient zero was identified in Rwanda on March 14th, 2020 and since then the number has hiked to 11. Patients are currently receiving medical care at Kanyinya health center in Nyarugenge district and are quickly recovering.

The ministry of health advises Rwandans to keep observing preventive measures to counter further spread of the virus and to call the toll-free number 114 to report any symptoms.

COVID-19 spreads through direct contact with the infected person, sneezing and coughing. To prevent the spread of the virus, regular hand washing with alcohol-based hand sanitizers or clean water and soap is advised, covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and avoiding large gatherings. In addition, it is important to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Other measures taken by the ministry of health to counter coronavirus are closing all public and private schools as well as higher education institutions, banning public gatherings and advising citizens to work from home.

Rwandans who completed studies in Nursing but who work in other sectors in Rwanda have joined hands with medical doctors to fight against the spread of coronavirus.