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New Rwanda Hospital to be “Most Modern in Africa”

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Butaro, Rwanda–Hundreds of people lined the hills and streets of Butaro, a small town across the border with Uganda in the Burera district of Rwanda, waiting all day for President Clinton to visit for a groundbreaking ceremony for the district’s first hospital.

Burera is in the only one of Rwanda’s 30 districts still lacking a hospital. The 130-bed facility will support 12 satellite health centers and provide a full range of health services, including mental health care, for the region’s 400,000 residents.

Until a few months ago the site of the new medical facility was a military camp. Local workers cleared the installation and flattened the hill top in readiness for the hospital, which is expected to open its doors in about 15 months.

Watch a video of Clinton’s speech at the groundbreaking ceremony in the extended entry:

Video by David Braun/NGS

Clinton’s arrival and departure by helicopter caused great excitement among the Butaro people. A loud cheer went up when the approaching helicopter was spotted.

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Hundreds of villagers gathered on Butaro’s hills and streets to greet Clinton.

Photo by David Braun/NGS

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Villagers welcomed Clinton and his daughter Chelsea with song and traditional dances. We heard that the women were singing praises and thanks to Clinton for bringing a hospital and doctors to the town.

Photo by David Braun/NGS

Watch a video of the local dancers singing farewell to Clinton:

Video by David Braun/NGS

 

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Kirihe District Mayor Aime Bosenibamwe and other local leaders joined former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital. The district is the only one of Rwanda’s 30 districts still lacking a hospital. The 130-bed facility will support 12 satellite health centers and provide a full range of health services, including mental health care, for 400,000 residents.  

Photo by David Braun/NGS