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How one ultrasound machine impacts an entire community

Story Health care
Burundi -

A new piece of biomedical equipment has significantly improved the quality of health care in the Burundian province of Mwaro. Cordaid provided an ultrasound machine to the Bisoro Communal Hospital and trained the staff on how to use it. “Without this machine, it would have been impossible to identify what was causing my pain.”

Rosette* is in her thirties. She had been experiencing pain in her abdomen for over a year and consulted several health centres, without any luck finding the cause, let alone an effective remedy. Unfortunately, the clinics in the region did not have access to the necessary equipment for a proper diagnosis.

The news of the ultrasound machine arriving at Bisoro Hospital spread in the community and it did not take long to reach Rosette. She consulted the hospital’s physician, who immediately planned a session with her.

Rosette: “Finally, the cause of my pain was sorted out. I was transferred to another hospital for surgery. The operation went well and now I’m in good health. Without this machine, it would have been impossible to identify what was causing my pain.”

Burundian woman.
Rosette is happy about the improved quality of care at the Bisoro Communal Hospital. Image: Rodrigue Niyongabo/Cordaid

An opportunity to raise awareness

Rosette is not the only one to benefit from the improved quality of services at the hospital. Its director, Dr George Ngaruko, says he is now performing at least thirty ultrasounds a day.

Ngaruko affirms that the equipment has encouraged pregnant women and other patients to seek professional care at the hospital and that it has increased their confidence in the quality of care. “We are also taking advantage of the opportunity to raise more awareness on family planning and sexual and reproductive health”, says Ngaruko.

Burundi’s national strategy of free health care

The health programme in Burundi was launched in 2018, with funds from KfW, the world’s largest development bank. It supports the implementation of Cordaid’s performance-based financing approach, which is contributing to Burundi’s national strategy of free health care for pregnant women and children under five, and the improvement of sexual and reproductive health services.

Initially due to end in April 2023, the project was extended until April 2024. The provision of biomedical equipment to more than twenty health facilities is an important element of the programme.

Header image: Dr George Ngaruko of the Bisoro Communal Hospital in Burundi is performing an ultrasound on one of his patients with the newly acquired equipment.

*Name has been changed for privacy.