Better hospital hygiene in the South thanks to Flemish subsidies

26 February 2021

Good hospital hygiene is an essential element og high-quality care, regardless of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy thing to achieve for partner hospitals in the South. Thanks to subsidies from the Province of Vlaams-Brabant LUMOS (Leuvense Universitaire Medische Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Solidariteit) was able to realise a number of hospital hygiene initiatives in the Kabutare hospital in Rwanda.

During the 2018 Klebsiella pandemic several new-born babies died in the Kabutare hospital in Rwanda. The hospital employees were given general training in general hygiene, hospital hygiene and hand hygiene. In addition, they were supported on the floor by shoulder-to-shoulder training. 

Financial support from Vlaams-Brabant

Up to now, the hospital did not have any means to bring a bigger change about in terms of hygiene. But thanks to the support of the Province of Vlaams-Brabant early 2020, it was possible to set up a sustainable project with Kabutare for the improvement of hospital hygiene. 

Sun boilers

In addition, structural modifications were made to the hospital. In December 2020, eight sun boilers were installed for sustainable warm water provision. This is a key element for good hospital hygiene. There were boilers for the washing area, the sterilisation department, paediatrics, the maternity ward and the room for the 'gardes-malade' (the escortes of the patients – often family members – that join them in the hospital to cook and wash for them).

More comfort and a lower energy bill 

The installation of the boilers had also a positive effect in other areas. There was an increase in the patients' comfort, e.g. because there are warm showers for the delivery. The sun boilers will also result in a lower energy bill so that more money will be avaible for other projects to enable quality health care. 

Information and raising awareness

In addition information was provided about general body and hospital hygiene, so that employees can help lift the level of hospital hygiene in the district hospital drastically. They learned that disinfecting linen can help prevent infection. 

Exchange experiences

And finally, a partnership with the university hospital of Butare (CHUB) was set up. This hospital was, together with three other district hospitals, involved in the educational initiatives on hospital hygiene for Kabutare. This increased the impact and ensures a better exchange of experiences between the different local hospitals. 

Last edit: 9 August 2022