Ronnie and Jenny Brown
Matt works for Partners in Health in Rwinkwavu.
Inshuti Mu Buzima (“Partners In Health” in the Rwandan national language, Kinyarwanda) is the first PIH project in Africa. Launched in the spring of 2005 at the invitation of the Rwandan government, the project marked their determination to respond to the escalating crisis in global health by bringing the PIH model of care to the continent that is the epicenter of twin pandemics of poverty and disease
PIH asks the people in the communities they serve what ails them and then do whatever it takes to make them well, just as they would if a member of their own family, or they themselves were ill.
PIH’s service starts with medical care. But it doesn't end there. When they listen to their patients, they hear not only about symptoms that can be treated with medicines but about conditions of crippling poverty in which disease spreads and kills.
Working with partners in the community, PIH provides treatment for general medical conditions and for more complex diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis. They also work to improve access to food, shelter, clean water, sanitation, education and economic opportunities. PIH provides monthly food packages to needy patients and their families. They replace tumble-down shacks made of sticks, mud and leaves with modest but sturdy homes with tin roofs and concrete floors. They build spring caps and fountains, giving the communities reliable sources of safe drinking water. They provide access to the financial support, supplies and training that patients need to return to their fields or to launch small workshops, businesses and other income-generating activities.