New Rwanda Hospital to be “Most Modern in Africa”

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Butaro, Rwanda–Hundreds of people lined the hills and streets of Butaro, a small town across the border with Uganda in the Burera district of Rwanda, waiting all day for President Clinton to visit for a groundbreaking ceremony for the district’s first hospital.

Burera is in the only one of Rwanda’s 30 districts still lacking a hospital. The 130-bed facility will support 12 satellite health centers and provide a full range of health services, including mental health care, for the region’s 400,000 residents.

Until a few months ago the site of the new medical facility was a military camp. Local workers cleared the installation and flattened the hill top in readiness for the hospital, which is expected to open its doors in about 15 months.

Watch a video of Clinton’s speech at the groundbreaking ceremony in the extended entry:

Video by David Braun/NGS

Clinton’s arrival and departure by helicopter caused great excitement among the Butaro people. A loud cheer went up when the approaching helicopter was spotted.

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Hundreds of villagers gathered on Butaro’s hills and streets to greet Clinton.

Photo by David Braun/NGS

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Villagers welcomed Clinton and his daughter Chelsea with song and traditional dances. We heard that the women were singing praises and thanks to Clinton for bringing a hospital and doctors to the town.

Photo by David Braun/NGS

Watch a video of the local dancers singing farewell to Clinton:

Video by David Braun/NGS

 

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Kirihe District Mayor Aime Bosenibamwe and other local leaders joined former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital. The district is the only one of Rwanda’s 30 districts still lacking a hospital. The 130-bed facility will support 12 satellite health centers and provide a full range of health services, including mental health care, for 400,000 residents.  

Photo by David Braun/NGS

 

Changing Planet

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn