Guest Blog by Suzanna Larkin, T21
The Iranzi Clinic is a pioneering medical clinic in Kigali, Rwanda that focuses entirely on maternal and child health services. As an intern through DukeEngage-Rwanda this past summer, I worked directly alongside the midwives, doctors, and administrative staff that have made Iranzi Clinic their home. Only opened one year ago, the clinic is situated on the edge of the impoverished Nyabisindu neighborhood. Many of the women who visit the clinic are unable to pay for their services, and thus the clinic relies primarily on support from the Christian Life Assembly Church and donors.
The commitment that the midwives and staff hold for their patients and clinic is clear. Every Monday, the clinic has a devotions session followed by a tea time, and the scene is joyous–any observer can notice the deep and genuine friendships that grew between the staff members as they built the clinic from the ground up. Their anecdotes about the clinic’s history, from when it was run a mobile white tent to the grand opening of its new and pristine building, illustrate the significance of the clinic’s family in their lives.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, a few midwives walk twenty minutes into the center of the Nyabisindu neighborhood. As they walk, they are greeted and welcomed by everyone. The midwives provide a free prenatal and postpartum clinic at a local church and are well-known throughout the community. One staff member is even working to begin a savings group for new mothers, with the ambition of purchasing machines so the women can create and sell crafts for income. The clinic’s extensive outreach is a clear sign of the extraordinary dedication the midwives hold for the mothers in the community.