Textbooks for Rwanda

$4,275 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 38 months
In summer 2014, I accepted a position with the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program through the Ministry of Health in Rwanda. Launched in August 2012, HRH is designed to help establish a sustainable healthcare education system. The Rwandan government has partnered with 23 leading U.S. institutions of medicine, nursing, health management, and dental health to meet the program’s goals:
·      Address the critical shortage of healthcare workers in Rwanda
·      Improve the quality of Rwandan health education
·      Provide better infrastructure and equipment in health facilities
·      Improve the management of health facilities

I participate in HRH at the University Teaching Hospital of Butare (CHUB). Established in 1928 and designated a teaching hospital in 1966, CHUB is located in Rwanda’s southern province town of Butare and is one of four referral hospitals. According to the National Commission of Poverty Reduction, the Rwandan population referred to CHUB is among the poorest in the nation.
 CHUB aims to be a “leader in providing quality healthcare services, education and conducting research” while “striving for excellence in Africa.” The hospital is currently undergoing a rigorous accreditation process with the Council for Health Service Accreditation of South Africa.

 My position as Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Clinical Educator at CHUB enables my interaction with staff physicians and nurses as well as nursing students. When I first arrived, I placed in the ICU the few U.S. nursing textbooks I had brought with me; CHUB staff immediately expressed interest in them. I came to learn that textbooks are prohibitively expensive in Rwanda: Most students cannot afford to buy the books, so they share the only copy available in their school library.

This challenge inspired me to find a way to ship to Rwanda the multitude of textbooks I had in storage back home, gathering dust. I spread the word to my friends in the U.S., asking them to send their old textbooks to my parents’ house in Maryland. I planned to bring a suitcase back to CHUB with me following the New Year holiday. What happened next was incredible. Friends, acquaintances, and people I have never even met sent more than 40 boxes (estimated 3000 lbs) of nursing and medical textbooks and references, with the promise of more to come.

 This is where you come in: I need your help in the form of a monetary donation that will enable me to:

1.     Pack and ship the textbooks from Maryland to Butare.

2.     Purchase adequate bookshelves in Rwanda to store the textbooks in the hospital departments.

3.     Purchase additonal textbooks and references deemed necessary and appropriate by CHUB and HRH staff.

Your support for this project is vital. All donations will go directly to the activities listed above and support the hard-working staff at CHUB, who are eager to improve care for the patients they serve.

If you have questions about this project, please contact me through this site. If you are interested in sending books directly, please see the address below. On behalf of CHUB, thank you for your consideration.

Alexandra Bambrick, MPH, RN, BSN, CCRN
University of Texas Health Sciences at Houston Rwandan Ministry of Health
Human Resources for Health Program
ICU Clinical Educator
University Teaching Hospital of Butare           

Mailing Address (USPS is best option):
Textbooks for Rwanda c/o Alexandra Bambrick
Southern Province
Huye District
PO Box 137 Huye

Other References:
“The Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda—A New Partnership”
New England Journal of Medicine (2013)

 Human Resources for Health Program Website
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5 Sharpies have been laid to rest (I thought this was pretty impressive) and 5 working days later, here's the final count...
55 textbooks have been delivered to ICU
57 to Pediatrics
41 to Neonatology
34 to Maternity
45 to Accident and Emergency (Emergency Department)
25 to the Theatres (Operating Rooms)
32 to the Surgery Wards
53 to Internal Medicine
29 to our Clinical Training and Research Manager (in Charge of Nurse Education)
21 to the Director of Nursing
38 to the Medicine Physician's Center of Excellence
29 to remain in the HRH Nursing Office
12 to the Physiotherapy Department
5 to the Surgeons
4 to the Nutritionists
4 to the Social Workers
and 2 to the Pediatric Farm Feeding Project (thanks to whoever included a Chicken Health Book in this drive).

The 20 or so books remaining have been distributed to the In-Charges (managers) of each department as well as our HRH Twins (Rwandans we work closely with during our time here) and our beloved BLS Instructors as gifts. These books included Leadership & Management texts, ACLS, Critical Care, and Physical Assessment.
I hope that everyone is happy with this report, that is over 500 books donated to the University Hospital of Butare. They are THRILLED. Photos are no longer uploading for some reason to the site, so I am going to assume that this is an "Africa Problem" and will post lots of photos when I return to the States.
Thank you again for all the love and support during this project!
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Guess what?
The books are HERE!!!! They finally cleared customs late Tuesday afternoon and were delivered to my office Tuesday night. Walking in yesterday morning was like Christmas morning!
Julie and I spent the morning unpacking, organizing and dividing the books among the units. Now I am inventorying everything and labeling them before delivering them to the units. Photos to come!
Thank you all for your support!
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It's official... the books are in Kigali. We are just awaiting customs clearance (we seem to be experiencing a small hiccup at the moment, which will hopefully be resolved shortly) and then the books will be delivered to Butare next week! So excited! The final two bookshelves will be picked up Monday and we will be ready to go!
Thank you everyone for the continued support!
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Well I finally have some good news to share! After MONTHS of waiting and fingers crossed the textbooks reached Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and officially left port on July 1st en route to Kigali! In addition, I just read in the newspaper how transport from Dar to Kigali has decreased from 10 days to 4. Here's hoping the books arrive this week in Kigali!
Meanwhile, the bookshelves are still being made and I'm headed to pick up two more and place the down payment on the final two. Thank you again for all the un-ending support. A huge thank you goes to Jackie Long of Mainfreight USA who has responded to my emails tirelessly over the last 3 1/2 months!
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Read a Previous Update
Niall O'Donnell
36 months ago

Brilliant job! Well done.

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$4,275 of $6,000 goal

Raised by 42 people in 38 months
Created January 8, 2015
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1 month ago
lynn Plack
31 months ago

Alex, I love seeing all of the good work that you are doing in Rwanda. You are surely changing lives. Sending lots o f love your way.

37 months ago
Shirley Hines
37 months ago

Alex, you are doing a wonderful job.

Sarah Masek
37 months ago

Happy Birthday!

37 months ago
Virginia Pfeifer
37 months ago

Happy (belated) birthday! I know you like mail, so we figured helping you get a giant package was better than sending you a small single one. :-)

37 months ago
Maureen Connell
37 months ago

Well done Alex, you will reach your goal

Niall O'Donnell
36 months ago

Brilliant job! Well done.

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