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Medical citizen outreach programs as Rwanda Defense Force homegrown solution for health challenges in Rwanda



Background: RDF medical Citizen Outreach Programs (COP) roots into the preparation of Rwanda Liberation struggle in ends of 1980s that meant national liberation struggle as overthrowing genocidal regime and socio-economic transformation of Rwanda. Therefore, patients benefited specialized healthcare to sustainably uplifting their welfare. Medical COP yearly intervenes in treating mental and physical health problems troubling survivors of Genocide against Tutsi in all districts of Rwanda.

Methods: The data on 1015 patients were collected from 5 sites (Rubavu, Nyanza, Rulindo, Kayonza and Bugesera) on Survivors of 1994 genocide against Tutsi. The specialists from 9 departments of RMH (Internal Medicine, Orthopedics and General Surgery, Dental, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT), Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urology and Clinical Psychology) carried out data collection. This study was an analytical cross-sectional survey. The main outcome was health status regarding the treatment of health conditions (cured or recurrent and not cured or slightly improved). For data analysis, descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, logistic regression model and proportion test were used.

Discussion: The exploratory data analysis showed that the department of general surgery and orthopedics were mostly visited.  For all demographic characteristics without distinction of disease, the number of patients recovered was higher than the number of patients not healed. The multivariable analysis showed that the treatment status, age category, profession and Ubudehe category were significantly associated with health status. To avoid bias from unbalanced treatment status; all covariates were ignored to perform a single proportion test which found statistically significance with more than half of patients cured permanently or temporally.

Conclusion: This study showed that being treated or more generally visiting RMH specialized doctors during RDF medical COP permanently or temporally healed genocide survivors. However, further studies regarding the importance RDF medical COP for general population and on specific diseases would be an excellent supplement to this study.

Key words: Medical COP, Survivors, Treatment

By: Kayondo King, MD, MMed

Category: Original Article

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