Rwanda 2016 – Last Day: Market and Hospital

On the 3rd of August, we visited a local market and a hospital before heading back to the States. The market was very lively and had a lot of goods to trade. Shop keepers were very friendly and didn’t mind me taking their pictures. Exceptions were with seamstresses who were either making or fitting clothes, they shielded their faces and shouted at me to not take pictures. Haggling was common. In fact, our BFR interpreter advised us not to buy anything without bargaining. They usually gave 20% to 30% off right away.

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Rwandans’ most popular transportation is moto, motorcycle taxi. They are cheaper (usually about 1/3 of real taxi) and faster, but may not be as safe as you hope. They carry an extra helmet. But I heard there usually many accidents in rainy days. You will find many motos waiting at almost any intersections. I asked the BFR interpreter how she would trust the guy on the bike would not kidnap her. She laughed and told me she always uses a couple of known moto guys.

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In the afternoon, we visited Kibagabaga Hospital in Kigali. It’s a 120-bed public hospital for the general population. I noticed their equipment, X-ray machine for an example, were probably more than 50 years old and obsolete in industrialized countries. We were told there are two more hospitals in the area with a lot better equipment and facilities but they are private and too expensive for the general population. Rwanda has a universal health care system with community based insurance plans. Residents of an area pay premiums into a local health care fund. Premiums are calculated by the income level. Government also pays into the fund. I was told the ratio between premiums paid and government funding is about 50:50. This hospital was one that accepts such insurances. We toured the hospital led by two Korean doctors, husband and wife. They came to Rwanda last year for a short term medical mission. When they went back to Korea, they could not forget about all those patients who desperately needed treatment and care. They came back with a long-term commitment. God bless!

Husband – Internal Medicine Specialist

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Wife – Pediatrician

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Now we are ready for 22-hour flight back home!

(August 2016)

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