Motivated to care for others was the inspiration behind the establishment of Umurage Medical Clinic. The founder, Madam Donata Mukakarama started a small clinic in the centre of Muhanga town with a growing population needful of healthcare services.
Mukakarama, a nurse working in the medical sector for years always felt the need to help others and her calling was in healthcare where she got a chance to work in both public and private sector, understanding that doing things better would improve the services.
Her career took-off as a civil servant, following the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi she switched to private practice when she started working with one of her relatives.The genocide had robbed of her husband, children and other family members which also left many children in her family in need of care because many had lost their parents.
With her own surviving children, Mukakarama felt the responsibility towards the children in the family who required her support and was forced to adopt them. Right after the genocide in 1994, she adopted a big number of children who had nowhere to turn. She worked hard to care for all and she is thankful that many have since completed their education, married and started their own lives.
Working in private practice gave her hope that one day she could start her own and when the time came she put her experience at work and the people she had worked with helped in the new venture.
Mukakarama opened Umurage Medical Clinic in 2016 in Gahogo, Muhanga town. The clinic which started with only general consultations gradually introduced new services as it grew.
Today the clinic offers services including; dentistry, gynaecology as well as hospitalization. There are plans to add more services like paediatrics, internal medicine, kinesiotherapy, family planning and preventive services like vaccination.
The clinic works closely with the district and the ministry of health as well as partnering with different insurance companies including RSSB, Britam, Radiant, UAP, MMI, Soras and Cogebanque.
Starting small but with big dreams, in the few years of its existence the clinic has expanded and acquired modern medical equipment as well as assets like owning the premises at the same time growing a professional staff team that offer quality services.
Offering quality services to patients is the top priority of Umurage Medical Clinic, underlines Mukakarama. She says they endeavour to improve the services and is happy that many people in Muhanga have been appreciative.
However, operating a private clinic is never easy as it looks, in 2019 the clinic temporarily closed due to some challenges but was able to overcome them and opened yet stronger, today the clinic is re-introducing services that had closed.
Umurage Medical Clinic appreciates Muhanga District working relations because they support the private sector. They work together during the health week to educate communities, the clinic contributes mituelle de Sante (medical insurance) to vulnerable families and offers free health care across the district.
The health week activity is normally conducted every quarter where private firms together with public medical institutions in the district visit different places to offer a range of services. Previous events they have built houses and toilets for the venerable groups of the community.
Mukakarama says the district has become a unifying factor which helps to solves different problems in the area and is always ready to support them. This has attracted investments to Muhanga like the medical facilities that are benefiting the people in the district.
She encourages investors particularly women and the youth to be more confident in venturing into the private sector in the district because they can benefit. She advises those who wish to invest, first to prepare your project and seek advice, with the little capital you have you can always start small and grow.