About one Year and Seven months ago, Ishimwe Daniel arrived into the world at Kiziguro hospital in Gatsibo district- his mother had a caesarian operation after enduring a complicated labour.
Doctors and nurses at Kiziguro hospital did their best to save the life of Ishimwe’s mother who was transferred to CHUK hospital in the capital Kigali. However, she lost the battle and died.
The only person on her bedside was her grandmother Urayeneza Cecile.
When CHUK doctors issued the bill to Urayeneza, she asked the doctor how much was indicated on the Yellow paper. She was told Rwf400,000- she immediately walked out of the hospital and trekked back home until a good Samaritan offered her money to board a bus back to Gatsibo.
“I had lost my mind, my granddaughter and didn’t have all that money to clear the bill. My great grandson had remained at Kiziguro hospital and was walking back to see him,” Urayeneza recounted her ordeal when Taarifa visited her home in Bidudu village, Ndatemwa cell.
According to Urayeneza, when she reached home, she told other family members that a huge bill was awaiting her moreover her granddaughter had also died.
A very humble family without the ability to access basic needs, pondered on what to do. “We failed to raise the money. We also didn’t have health insurance. It was a very sad situation,” she remembers.
After a few days, Urayeneza saw an ambulance arriving at her home and there emerged a team of doctors and one was holding Ishimwe – the great grandson.
She was also informed that the body of her granddaughter had been buried in Kigali.
“I feared that I was going to be arrested. I was also worried of funeral bill. None in our family knows where Ishimwe’s mother was buried. We didn’t burry her. It is very hurting up to now,” Urayeneza exclusively told Taarifa in a conversation on Sunday.
How Ishimwe was neglected by State
One month after Ishimwe was brought home without his mother, a story was published on IGIHE with details of how this infant was not anywhere close to receiving help from the state.
However, the Kiziguro sector agreed to provide milk for Ishimwe as an urgent solution because the mother was dead and the baby boy urgently needed to breastfeed.
“We were told that Rwf20,000 was mobilized from well-wishers and was handed to Executive secretary in charge of Social affairs but we only received Rwf6000 which we paid to get milk for one month,” she said, adding since then there has been no milk.
For over a year, Urayeneza has been trekking kilometers back and forth to meet Kiziguro Sector officials with hope that maybe she would get the support she was promised. Nothing has been forthcoming.
“I had the chance to meet the new Executive secretary but he was not supportive. He told me that the child is not his and that we cannot always give birth to children and expect the government to take care of them. I gave up,” Urayeneza told Taarifa with a clear sign that she has resigned.
With more pity, Urayeneza says that her great grandchild has no health insurance since he was born,
“This boy gets sick very often like twice in a month and we have sold all the beans and maize we have in the house to have him treated. We are now left with nothing but only waiting on Gods mercy,” she said with sadness.
More Problems and More Problems
Bidudu village authorities in which, Urayeneza lives have recently directed all residents to pay a monthly fee of Rwf500 as “security fee” but this family is wondering where they will get such money.
Urayeneza only looks for farm jobs – cultivating in someone’s garden for an entire day, she is paid 1.5kg of beans; “This is when we eat. My husband is very weak because recently he fell in a nighbours pit latrine and broke a chest bone.”
The cow which this family received under the one-cow per family program recently died and was buried.
The family sold some of the maize they had and bought a piglet. However, this piglet was stolen and this finished all hopes of the family.
Urayeneza says they are categorized under economic Level II but they have not received their health insurance for the past months.
With all this seemingly un-ending suffering, the family is seeking help from well wishers.