By Fabrice HUMURA
Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students (RPSA) conducted the first ever health camp in Kayonza district under the theme: INCLUSIVE ENGAGMENT TO A HEALTHY LIFE. Kayonza district is in the eastern province of Rwanda about 91.9 km from the capital Kigali. If you have been following the associations’ Public health activities, you may realize that the campaign was not far different from other previous ones where people were screened and counseled on blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass index.
From 28th July to 1st August, pharmacy students under the umbrella of RPSA embarked on the unprecedented public health campaign dubbed “Health Camp”. This was designed primarily to approach citizens in remote areas of the country where most of them have no clue on their health status. They were first and foremost educated on different subject such as nutrition, non-communicable diseases, hygiene and water sanitation to name just a few.
The eminent non-governmental health organization, Partners In Health got interested with the initiative and came to grace the event by sponsoring the health camp not solely this one but as well to make it a continuous event in upcoming years in various places of the country.
The RPSA President Mr Alphonse Mbarushimana attests that the camp went beyond expectations as preparations as well as execution were both impeccable. He said: “Citizens in Kayonza district were happy as most of them didn’t know how to keep their body healthy. We found as well some critical scenarios of high blood pressure where we referred such cases at hospitals.”
Throughout the health camp which took place in various sites of Kayonza district, more than 650 citizens were screened and received medical counseling in accordance with their results. Like other previous campaigns run by association, the health camp was in partnership with Rwanda Diabetic Association which work closely in terms of training and aid at the field.
Pharmacy students measuring Blood pressure
One of pharmacy student Enock Twizerimana who was volunteering in this event affirmed that the health camp gave him an opportunity to explain the role of pharmacist which is wrongly understood in society. “This event redefined the role of pharmacist where most still think that pharmacist’ role is limited to dispensing medications. While helping the people we kept on explaining that a pharmacist like any other healthcare provider, primarily concerned with the health of people by providing the necessary advice to keep them healthier.”
Non-communicable diseases are on the rise around the globe and dismally mostly in developing countries people live with such diseases unknowingly. With these kinds of awareness especially in rural areas where most people are illiterate and uninterested for regular checkups, public health campaigns are of great impact.
Mr. Fabrice is a Pharmacy Student at University of Rwanda.
College of Medicine and Health sciences.