Kirehe Wednesday 7, August 2019 – As the hot afternoon sun scorches on the already dry red soils coming to terms with the dry season, Jean D’arc Nijimbere looks over the hills and contemplates on what the future holds.
Despite the fond memories of her former home, she carries a brighter face full of happiness and hope for a better and health future. Nijimbere is one of the beneficiaries in Mahama refugee camp, Kirehe district in Eastern province that received bed nets and mosquito repellents donated by SFH Rwanda in collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Health and SC Johnson. “I thank God that he directed us in a good country like Rwanda where we have found comfort and a second home, we receive all the basic needs we need, from health to social amenities, education for our children and security,” Nijimbere narrates with a smile while cuddling a bed net in her arms.
In January, 2019, when Dr. Fisk Johnson, the Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson visited Mahama refugee camp, he met a multitude of refugees living in Mahama Camp and chatted with them on their various topics including health care in the camp. One of the major challenges raised by refugees during this gathering was the issue of high malaria burden, and access to health care services, and he also committed to build a health post, this was also accomplished.
He generously accepted to donate bed nets and mosquito repellents to the camp. A commitment was made, on Wednesday 7, August 2019 the commitment was fulfilled, 19,430 bed nets, 30,240 Baygon coils and 22,680 OFF lotion tubes which covered 8,409 and 7,560 households in Mahama 1 and 2 respectively, including 3,461 nets for pregnant women were distributed. For the past seven months SC Johnson and SFH Rwanda have focused on Mahama camp in an effort to prevent and fight against Malaria in Rwanda.
According to Manasseh Gihana Wandera the Executive Director of SFH Rwanda, SFH interventions aim at malaria prevention and control through supporting communities to access health care and products, adding that the key resource of the country is its human resource and this is why SFH Rwanda focuses on ensuring that people access health services near them in order to have better lives.
Emmanuel Ndacyayisenga deputy camp manager says that with the support of bed nets and repellents from SFH as well as training of camp community health workers, there is optimism that malaria rates will further drop.
He says that the support of SFH is another milestone in fighting against Malaria in the camp and asked SFH to further support the camp to ensure that all the refugee households access bed nets and repellents.