Prince Louis Rwagasore: a hospital as sick as the patients it receives

Prince Louis Rwagasore: a hospital as sick as the patients it receives

Established in 1945, the Prince Louis Rwagasore hospital served to treat patients from the bourgeois class and wealthy people during the colonial and post-colonial period.It was admired and its colonial architecture of the time continues to be admired today, but this picturesque facility is threatened with collapse following a lack of maintenance. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Erected in the center of Bujumbura, the commercial capital, the Prince Louis Rwagasore hospital is now a completely dilapidated hospital, and a health facility for people with meager means in search of care if they have the courage to enter its walls.

The health facility does not have good press. People come here for treatment, but in the opinion of many informed patients, death is more easily encountered there.Nurses met in one of the largest and oldest hospitals in the small East African nation believe that nothing is right. “We have drug problems. Without drugs, we cannot provide care, especially in this context of several pandemics. There is also the question of equipment : in radiology, in surgery, in the laboratory, in all departments. The equipment is obsolete. We see breakdowns very regularly”, testifies an anesthesiologist who has just spent 20 years at the Prince Louis Rwagasore hospital.

“As far as this hospital is concerned, we really have problems. Sometimes you yourself are not doing very well, you go to the Prince Louis Rwagasore hospital but it is there that you will contract other illnesses. Everything is dirty, the toilets…, the biting mosquitoes”, notes Hervé, a patient met at the reception.

As one of our reporters saw, rats are feeding on hospital waste that pours into an open sewer. “We have historical problems of shortage of staff, problems of specialist doctors, lack of medicines and, unfortunately, corruption, poor budget management. Health services have been in trouble for 9 years now”, said a former gynecologist at this hospital on condition of anonymity.

For the manager of this hospital, the ball is in the government’s court. “For a hospital to operate, it must have a budget, we don’t have one, we have been asking for state subsidies for several years to run our hospital, which is public, but we only receive a tenth, it is normal that the hospital is not doing well”, said Dr. Bonith Havyarimana, director of the Prince Louis Rwagasore hospital.

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