New Pediatric Building

By Alyssa 

I am so excited to report that our new pediatric building is open!!!! 130 beds, 3 stories tall - all designed and constructed specifically for the children of Burundi! Son Excellence, the President of the Republic of Burundi himself came on November 17 to inaugurate the new building as part of his Caravan of the Torch of Peace. The patients and peds staff are so happy with their beautiful new building, and I love seeing the children sharing meals together in the grassy courtyard or playing in the playroom or just calmly resting and recovering in clean, bright, well-ventilated wards. And no one has to share a bed or sleep on the floor anymore! 
Welcome sign and archway for the President

Meeting the President on the red carpet

Officially opening the pediatric building 

Team docs and engineer with the US Ambassador to Burundi

Hospital playroom 

Neonatology resuscitation and phototherapy 

Patients in the new building

Patients sharing food - meals are always a communal event in Burundian culture. The patients love this grassy area behind the building. 

During my speech here to the hospital staff and community leaders, I mostly talked about our vision for the pediatric service at Kibuye:
Our vision is to welcome children, families, staff, and students to the Kibuye Hope Hospital pediatric service as Jesus welcomes us; to provide competent, compassionate care; and to make the most of every opportunity to train the next generation of healthcare workers. 

I shared Matthew 19:13-15 where Jesus blesses the little children and I talked about the riches of God's compassion in Ephesians 2 and how we likewise want to welcome children and show them compassion. I also talked about my own experience as a pediatric patient at age 10 when I was paralyzed and in an intensive care unit with an illness called Transverse Myelitis. I talked about how I remember the healthcare workers who showed me compassion during my 2 years of recovery as I relearned how to walk. I'm so thankful to God for healing me, but I'm also thankful for how He used that experience in my life to stir my interest in becoming a pediatrician in order to care for other children like me - hopefully with compassion and competence! And finally I talked about the importance of lifelong learning as we all seek to improve in our understanding of medicine and as we teach students and even patients and parents on the three pediatric sub-services of neonatology, inpatient malnutrition, and general pediatrics. 

It's been a long journey in coming to the inauguration of this building. Four years ago, the fundraising process began with this video and blog post. Watch the short video for great footage of what the peds service looked like before! 

Ultimately over 100 people gave generously to enable this project to go forward. Because of their generosity, we were actually able to adapt the plans to include a third level so that we would have space for all the pediatric patients including neonatology. The nonprofit eMi sent multiple teams of engineers, architects, and others to design and oversee construction. We're especially thankful for Andy Bradshaw and Mathieu Lembelembe who joined our team for many months to oversee this enormous project - the first three-story building at Kibuye. 

eMi design team with hospital staff on the building site

Video of early construction

Pediatric staff on the ground floor in the middle of the construction process 

Andy Bradshaw and Mathieu Lembelembe with Serge Kibuye team touring the building before the roof was on 

Team touring the top floor near the end of construction 

So thankful for all these construction workers! 

And now the patients are all in the new building! Praise God from whom all blessings flow! 

Two happy pediatricians! 


onewhostrives said...

What a great testimony to God’s faithful covenant love for His children. It is so amazing to see your struggle to provide a clean and accommodating place for your patients to heal come to a happy close with the opening of the Peds Ward. I’m so glad you dared to “dream big” and add that third story on top…like an extra layer of cake or a delicious third scoop of ice cream…it’s not too much, it’s just enough!

Karen said...

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!