Building for the future: Paramedical School Saint-Michel in Nyamutobo
Until 2008, there was no medical teaching facility in eastern Burundi, i.e. in the provinces of Ruyigi, Cankuzo and Rutana. Only the provinces of Bururi to the south, Gitega in the centre, Ngozi to the north and the capital, Bujumbura, in the west had such facilities, and they were run either by the Education Ministry or privately. As an immediate consequence of that situation, young people in the region, in particular young women, had little access to paramedical training. Worse yet, of those lucky enough to get a place, several had to give up for lack of means (to pay for transportation and housing). And yet, medical personnel are very much needed in Burundi, in the east in particular.
No doctor visits the province’s centres. The shortage of medical personnel could therefore pose a risk for the population’s health. In 2008, there were only two hospitals in Ruyigi province.
It is against this backdrop that Maison Shalom launched its project to establish a secondary medical technical school providing certified training. The medical school must serve to improve access to health care for the people in the east of the country - from the start of the training programme. The students serve internships in the hospitals and health centres throughout their studies and later the patients will benefit from the services of the school’s graduates.
This project is in line with Maison Shalom’s general approach to health. In 2006, Maison Shalom started construction on the REMA Hospital. The school is situated on the same site as the hospital, which is now operational.
The school trains competent medical personnel to serve in the hospital, which was inaugurated on 22 January 2008. In turn, the hospital is the main place of internship for students from the school. In addition, this unique centre of health in the province of Ruyigi, facilitates the launch of activities to build awareness among and provide training to the population in first aid, hygiene and nutrition.
The Nyamutobo Paramedical School Saint-Michel admits students from all ethnic groups between the ages of 14 and 22 who have finished their secondary schooling (grade 10) and wish to learn a medical occupation (A2 technical diplomas, 4 years of study).
General objective and anticipated results
Establishment of skills training in nursing for young underprivileged people in search of an occupation that open prospects for the future; improve living conditions, particularly the health of the population in eastern Burundi, by providing training for medical personnel and raising awareness of basic health concepts.
- Graduate 40 A2-level nurses each year
- Teach 150 adults each year the basics of first aid, nutrition, hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases and the care of young children
- Strengthen the institution by providing specific training for the management committee and ongoing training courses for teachers