Stories

 {Photo Credit: Landry Serges-Malaba/MSH}Alain Kelende, mason and former TB patientPhoto Credit: Landry Serges-Malaba/MSH

Alain Kelende had been a mason his whole life, but for the past two years, he was exhausted every day and could not stop coughing, making it difficult to work. Kelende, 42, lives with his wife and two children in a peri-urban community of Kinshasa. Like many in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), he resisted going to a clinic. Instead, he self-medicated for worms and, he said, “kept coughing and growing weaker.”

 {Photo Credit: Ruhengeri Hospital staff}Patients waiting at Ruhengeri Hospital Internal Medicine Ward.Photo Credit: Ruhengeri Hospital staff

When Ruhengeri Hospital in northern Rwanda upgraded from a district to a referral hospital in 2014, it began receiving cases from 15 health centers in its own district and from five hospitals in surrounding districts. In 2015 alone, the hospital experienced close to 6,000 monthly outpatient visits, about 25 percent above previous levels and now among the highest in the entire country. Such numbers proved how important the status upgrade had been in relation to local health needs, but the facility struggled to consistently meet those needs.

Fabio CastañoPhoto credit: David AlexanderFormer MSH Family Planning and Reproductive Health Global Technical Lead, Fabio Castaño, recently spoke to Family Planning Voices. Lead by the Knowledge for Health Project and Family Planning 2020, Family Planning Voices is a digital initiative that uses storytelling to document and share real stories from real people around the world who are passionate about family planning.

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