Q&A with Joanna Galaris – Impact and Systems specialist

When I moved to the United States for the first time as an undergraduate in college I struggled to watch international news on TV. News anchors tended to paint a tragic, one-dimensional picture: The Middle East was full of violent, religious extremists and Africa was starving and ravaged by disease. Even INGO workers and journalists with lots of international experience were often telling stories in a way that inspired one-way sympathy instead of bi-directional solidarity.

These stories I was hearing championed intervening agents as saviors of indigenous people, and few reflected on whether the intervention they had chosen (often in a conference room across an ocean) was effective in the long-term or sustainable within local systems

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IMB Stories
Q & A with Alice Nyirimana, Livelihood Program Manager - Her 12 year journey at PIH-IMB

Oh yes, challenges are inevitable in everyone’s work, and there are quite a lot of challenges I face in my daily work; but what has been my biggest challenge is determining the “extremely poor” is among the “poorest” while selecting those who deserve our support. In such moments, you honestly see that all the people have barely anything and all deserve the support. It is like having one banana to divide it among twenty people; just imagine how hard this is. I must confess that I have always been heartbroken by the sight of a homeless single mother coming to me crying with a malnourished child at her back, accompanied with two more little children that have been starving for God knows how long, and I can’t be able to help her because I have a pool of many more others that are still waiting on the support

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IMB Stories
Interview with Katie Beck, Nutrition specialist

Sure! Undernutrition is a type of malnutrition. Undernutrition refers to things like wasting (acute malnutrition), or stunting, also called chronic malnutrition. It could also refer to vitamin and mineral deficiencies too, which can cause conditions like anemia. Over nutrition, or obesity, is a type of malnutrition, as well. Even though a person who is obese might not seem “malnourished” they are likely also not getting the proper balance of nutrients because they are perhaps consuming too much or eating foods that are not good for your health. So this is still a type of malnutrition.

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IMB Stories
Q & A with Susan Burris, GSK Pulse volunteer

Well, I am so proud of quite many things but one thing I must highlight is that through my work with IMB, I have learnt to be a good listener. My job at IMB involved working with different people and through various interactions with them, I gradually developed incredible listening skills; and as you know if you are a good listener, you empathize and through empathy you value the people that you serve, hence serve them better.

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IMB Stories
Francis Karambizi, IT Director

“When our patients are ill and have no access to care, our team of health professionals, scholars, and activists will do whatever it takes to make them well—just as we would do if a member of our own families or we ourselves were ill.”

From an IT point of view, it might seem that we are so far from the patients that their issues should be left to the clinicians alone. But over the years I have learned to always try to think of ways to contribute to the patient’s welfare.

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Q&A with Andre Ndabarasa, transport supervisor

After 11 years at IMB, do you have any anecdotes to share with us?
I have a story that is so unbelievable; you can never imagine that I have been in this same situation two different times! I have had to deliver two babies, in the back of a PIH vehicle, without a doctor or nurse – two times!

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IMB Stories
Alice Uwingabiye: IMB, My University

June 2006... That’s when I heard about Partners In Health for the first time. In 2006, I was working in a local NGO called “AFCF GIRIBANGA” which was supporting people living with HIV/AIDS. We were based in Gikondo-Kigali. At that time, we were supporting more than 100 people but every month we were losing about 3 of them. We started asking ourselves where those people were leaving for. Unexpectedly, in June, I met one of them in Kigali town (Main Taxi Parking) and asked him where he left us for. “I found a better organization called Patanazi in Rwinkwavu, they treat HIV Patients. That’s where I live and if all goes well, I will take my family there” he said. He started giving me names of other patients that we had lost who were also living in Rwinkwavu. I couldn’t tell that “Patanazi” was Partners In Health.

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