Q & A with Dr. Egide Mpanumusingo – Burera District Clinical Director
As we begin our conversation, would you briefly tell us where you were and what you were doing before joining PIH-IMB?
Since 2010, I was a medical Doctor at Butaro Hospital and later in 2012, a medical coordinator for oncology program, employed by the Ministry of Health. In both positions I worked so closely with PIH/IMB, so I was so familiar with its various programs, even more than PIH/IMB’s staff who were not directly involved in the clinical programs.
When and how did you eventually join PIH-IMB?
Like I mentioned before, I always worked closely with PIH/IMB as they were supporting Butaro Hospital and their work always fascinated me. So, in 2016, I realized there was a job opening for District Clinical Director and I couldn’t hesitate to apply because I saw it as a great opportunity for me to not only contribute to their mission because I admired it but also as a platform for my personal development in terms of gaining stronger management skills as well as the integration of my clinical background into their cross cutting work that involved both clinical and socio-economic activities for the poor.
Did you ever have any misperception of PIH-IMB before and if yes, has there been any significant change of this since you joined the organization?
Oh yes, even when I thought I knew PIH-IMB very well, there is one discovery that I made as a PIH staff which I wouldn’t otherwise have made and which actually made me appreciate their work even more. Many times in my previous job as a MoH medical doctor, I always found it so disturbing for me to receive PIH visitors because it would interrupt my work as a doctor. Sometimes I would be attending to patients and then I would receive a call by a PIH staff requesting me to give a hospital tour to their visitors and this always disturbed me. I felt it as burden until I joined PIH and was directly involved into this myself. The same people that I always complained about, saying that they wasted my time as a doctor who had a long queue of patients waiting for me are the ones who were behind the organization’s incredible work (the donors, partners, volunteers, interns, etc) I would always feel disturbed, but this has changed so significantly, I value all visitors as potential partners and donors and I appreciate their incredible role in changing the lives of Rwandans. I actually enjoy not only giving them a hospital tour but also those who want to do home visits, I am so glad to be part of it because I fully understand that it is for the good of Rwandans - my own people.
So, you said that you admired PIH’s work and you couldn’t wait to join, have your expectations been met and if so, what do you find outstanding among all that you expected?
(With a cheerful face), PIH has actually exceeded my expectations in many ways but I will highlight a few things that have amazed me and those are: value for humanity, equity, incredible working environment and team work. I have a long list of expectations met which make me call PIH a family than an employer. Also, the integration of my clinical skills into all the diverse areas that the organization touches has explicitly contributed so much to my development and I look forward to more. I can briefly say that PIH enables you to deliver effectively.
What is one remarkable thing that you feel proud of about yourself or the organization since you joined?
I was so proud of PIH’s contribution to Butaro Hospital’s high score in the recent accreditation. I was so excited to see it come 4th at the national level, thanks to PIH’s contributing part in improving the Hospital’s health system. If there is one thing that makes me feel so glued to PIH is value for people, ranging from beneficiaries to staff. You will always determine the good working environment of any organization by its employees’ long stay and that’s what I call ‘positive retention’. This has enabled staff to deliver effectively leading to the Hospitals’ higher accreditation scores generally and I look forward to seeing more milestones, including making Butaro a teaching Hospital.
I am also personally proud of the fact that through PIH’s ‘positive retention’, I have been granted stability in my job, which was quite minimal before I joined and this has enabled me to concentrate on my daily duties as a District Clinical Director hence deliver effectively.
You told us a lot about your work, would you mind letting us know who is Egide on a personal level? (Are you married? Do you have kids? What are your hobbies?)
Yes I am married with three kids. The first born is 10, second is 6 and the third is 2 years old. (Laughs) I have a number of hobbies including touring and discovering new places but my outstanding hobby is volleyball. I really love playing volleyball.
How do you manage working upcountry and having your family in Kigali?
I must emphasize that it is quite hard living away from my family and it’s hard on their side of course, but one fact remains that I should work so that we are able to live a decent life. One thing that has kept us strong and bonding as a family is that both my wife and kids understand that I must work and earn money to take care of family needs and with this understanding, they have been able to appreciate my being away rather than complaining about it. Secondly, I always make sure that the little time I have with them is maximized to bond with them. Whenever I come to Kigali, I make sure we have all the time for ourselves to play, learn, bond and share our joys and challenges, some times more than other families that live together all the time. It’s really hard to fulfill all my parental duties but I am glad that I have managed to.
Finally, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
(Smiles) well, I envision myself in a higher and influential position in the Public Health area, with advanced skill in clinical design, M&E and Research; more preferably in PIH but who knows, doors might open even outside PIH. All we can see is what we have now which encompass what we’ve done and what we plan to do, but we don’t know what the future holds because we can’t foresee it. I am certain that through hard work, commitment and PIH’s help, I will see this dream come true.