Dr Pascal runs a hospital in the town of Kavumu, an hour’s drive north of Bukavu. An entrepeneuer with enough drive and heart to make most of us gasp, his ambition knows no boundaries or constraints.
He dreamed of returning to the area of his birth, after many years of working away in large hospitals, knowing how greatly his home town needed a clinic. Families stricken by malnutrition, malaria, injury, violence and lack of family planning, have only had traditional medicine or sporadic support from NGOs. And now the Red Cross is leaving and Dr Pascal knows people here are in need of embedded, institutionalised health services.
His vision is to provide modern healthcare across the region, and with a loan from Ensemble, he has set up Kavumu’s first dependable hospital.
The service challenge
Introducing health services for the first time requires Dr Pascal to be more than just a physician, he must also be also a marketer, a campaigner and an educator. His outreach activities inform people of the hospital’s existence and help local people understand that care is there for them.
But communities have little to spend and initially do not clearly understand the benefits. Illiterate patients may forget how to take the drugs they have been prescribed and reach back to traditional remedies due to a lack of knowledge, when treatment or advice from Dr Pascal could save their lives. We needed to help his operational activities as well as design new services that onboard people onto modern healthcare.
Dr Pascal told us that his most urgent need was to introduce a digital patient management system. With patient numbers growing it had become much harder to monitor records and payments. All records were documented in notebooks, carefully cut out and stored in lockers. He had no filing capabilities.
We researched and settled on installing the open-source patient management system OpenMRS. You can read about the work and the effect it has had on his practice here.