An introduction to Rwanda

Posted in: Blog, by Bridge2Aid Team, on 10th October 2013 | 0 comments

By  Jo Topley

Over the past few months, in the lead up to our pilot Dental Volunteer Programme (DVP) in the country beginning on Monday 17th June, Operations Manager Jo has travelled to Rwanda on several occasions – from her base in Tanzania – in order to plan and confirm arrangements. From her various trips, Jo has created an introduction to the country for our supporters and volunteers to read. We’re really excited about hosting DVP in a different country for the first time. This is very much a pilot programme, and we’ll keep you updated.

“I found Rwanda to be a beautiful country, amazing countryside and very well set up. Volunteers who have travelled to Tanzania with us will find that Rwanda’s infrastructure is far more developed than Tanzania, even in the more rural areas, and I believe that this is due to everything that has occurred since the Genocide, and the hard work and aid money that has gone into re-establishing the country.

The main languages spoken are Kiruwandan, French and English. English is now being much more widely used and within academic areas everything is now being taught in English. We managed to get by in English and also a bit of bad French as well as some Kiswahili.  The good thing is that Innocent, who will be with us for our pilot later this month, speaks Kiruwandan!

It’s reported that Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa with a population of 11.4 million people, 81% of whom living in rural areas.  Since the genocide in 1994, Rwanda has experienced considerable growth; however, it is a growth which the country’s health services are not yet able to cater for. Rwanda has only 11 dentists which equates to one dentist per 800,000 people, and only 6 of the 34 district hospitals can treat dental caries – the most common disease in the world.

We’re really excited to be hosting a pilot programme in Rwanda, and hope that it leads to many more in the future, allowing us to provide access to thousands of people in the country who are currently living without access to safe treatment when suffering with dental pain. We will keep everyone updated on the programme as we go along.”

–          Jo

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