Rwanda Inaugurates Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center to Provide Comprehensive Outpatient Care


GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA (Kigali)

21. August

Photo: The New Times (09/07/2013)

Kigali — With the rise of non-communicable diseases like cancer, a state of the art cancer referral centre, the Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence, was established in Butaro Hospital, Northern Province, in July 2012, to provide comprehensive care to cancer patients in Rwanda and the region. Part of the Centre now includes the Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center (BACC), inaugurated yesterday.

BACC will provide outpatient care including chemotherapy infusion services, clinical consultation, education sessions, and multidisciplinary counseling for patients and their families. The Centre is an important part of Rwanda’s five-year plan to institute cancer prevention, screening and treatment on a national level.

“The establishment of the Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center is an indication of government’s commitment to providing universal access for cancer treatment,” Dr Agnes Binagwaho Minister of Health speaking at the inauguration.

Dr. Paul Farmer, Co-founder of Partners in Health (PIH/IMB), which has partnered with the Ministry of Health to treat cancer in rural Rwanda since 2006, said that to reduce cancer related deaths it is important to integrate prevention, diagnosis and treatment. “The Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Center, inaugurated today will make it possible to attain this,” Dr. Paul Farmer Co-founder of Partners in Health.

Adelphine Musabyeyezu, 34, a cancer survivor from Rusizi District, who completed chemotherapy treatment at the Centre said, “I received timely treatment at the Butaro Cancer Center. I encourage my fellow women to opt for early detection as the best option.”

Since its inauguration on July 18, 2012, the Cancer Center has delivered high-quality cancer care that was previously inaccessible to those who needed it most. Over 1,000 new patients from every district in Rwanda and several neighboring countries have been registered in the oncology program since it opened.

Other registered successes include the development of endorsed national protocols for cancer care, the expansion of Butaro’s pathology lab to a national referral facility and the implementation of an electronic medical record system to support national registry inputs.

The inauguration was hosted by Burera District, the Ministry of Health, the Rwandan Biomedical Center (RBC), and Partners In Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima (PIH/IMB), in partnership with the Cummings Foundation, Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

Related article:

President Clinton visits Rwanda (The New Times, 05/08/13)

Photo: Tami Hultman

Former US President Bill Clinton arrived in Rwanda last evening for a two-day visit during which he will tour several projects under the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Clinton Global Initiative project. [read more…]

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