Rwanda prepares medical interventions for Genocide commemoration
Written by: Tuyizere Daniel
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, 17:23
Rwanda's ministry of health has put strategies and measures to provide medical and psychological interventions to help people with emotional and trauma related cases that arise during the commemoration period as Rwandans are preparing for the 23rd commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi.
Dr Yvonne Kayiteshonga, the Division Manager of mental health at Rwanda Biomedical Centre said that Rwanda is among the countries with high level of traumatism due to the genocide. Rwanda is at the same proportion as other countries that faced the same tragic events where it stands at 26%, Cambodia at 28.4% and Algeria at 37.4%.
According to statistics by medical workers, the age groups between 25-35 are the most affected by trauma at 46% and female at 89%.
In Rwanda, thousands of health and non-health professionals are skilled to deal with emotional and trauma crises and large outreach programs are put in place to raise awareness against trauma and promote mutual support.
Strategies to provide support
During this year’s commemoration different activities and responsibilities were organised including preparation of adequate places for managing emotional crises, strengthening of emergency teams and health centres, especially those located near of commemoration sites, training health professionals and volunteers on psychological first aid, management of cases on commemoration sites and health facilities, availing essential medicines and ambulances, strengthening social support during hospitalization of trauma victims among others.
The statistics corrected from the last 22nd commemoration shows that 70% of people who went through emotional and trauma cases were helped at the commemoration sites by trained health and non health professionals; and this has encouraged the ministry to put much emphasis on training the community health workers and other volunteers who will help the medical professionals during this coming commemoration.
They have trained general nurses of health centres in whole country, AVEGA psychologists, Red Cross volunteers, university AERG members, police officers and the community health workers among others to help the community.
People with emotional reactions are helped at the commemoration sites, those with extended stress reactions are helped at health centres and severe stress case are helped at referral hospitals like university hospitals and Ndera Neuropsychiatric hospital.
Trauma is something that can have other related effects even after the aid; there will be a team of people to take all identification of trauma victims in order to do follow-ups to prevent complex post-traumatic stress development and the pilot project was established to follow up those people during the commemoration by following them at hospitals and after treatment in their day to day activities.
For the 100 days of commemoration , the ministry will strengthen the use of helpline to increase the community support; the general population will be using a toll-free hotline 6200 for quick support to people in need and psychological first aid, advice and orientation will also be provided by specialists 24 hours over 7 days.