Dr. Christine Niyibogora


Lees zijn verhaal

Dr. Christine heeft haar familie in Rwanda voor twee jaar uitgezwaaid, maar dat doet zij met een duidelijke missie!

What was your childhood like?

My name is Dr. Christine Niyibogora and I am 38 years old. My childhood was very simple and my family always lived in the same place, Kigaree, Rwanda. I liked to play and sing. I am the second born of two girls and two boys.

Why did you want to become a doctor/work in medicine?

When I was in high school, my uncle had an accident. After the accident, he had to go to the hospital and the way he was treated by medical professionals inspired me to be a doctor that could help other people. Before that, I thought I would be a teacher, but I completely changed my mind.

What university did you go to?

I went to the University of Rwanda, where I  studies medical school for 6 years and then studied my residency in anesthesia. After I finished my residency, I worked for 6 years at the local hospital.

How did you choose your major/specialty?

I do not want to see people suffering. Anesthesia allows me to help by putting people to sleep so that they can be treated without pain, for example during surgeries.

Are pediatric cardiac surgeries performed at all in Rwanda?

Pediatric cardiac surgeries are not in daily practice, although there are some sporadic surgeries that have been done. There have been missions from abroad that come once a year to perform cardiac surgeries for one week for around 10 children and then they go back. There is a high demand for cardiac surgeries in Rwanda, but no staff.

When did you hear about Save a Child's Heart?

I heard about Save a Child's Heart in 2022, from an Ethiopian physician, Dr Yayu, that was trained at Save a Child's Heart and who is now working in Rwanda doing surgeries regularly. My dream was to pursue a fellowship in pediatric cardiac anesthesia, but it seemed impossible until Save a Child's Heart gave me the opportunity to make my dreams come true. I wanted to do a fellowship because I want to be someone who could help the Rwandan population.

How does it feel to be in Israel?

At the beginning, it was hard to be far from my family, but now Israel is becoming my second country and I feel at home here. The team at Save a Child's Heart is very nice and hospitable. Everyone at the hospital is also very kind. I will be staying here for 2 years. I'm motivated by the experience, knowledge, and skills I will be able to bring home.

What do people think back home about you being here?

They are proud of me and wanted me to go so I could come back and apply the knowledge and skills I am getting to help the children who are suffering in Rwanda. I have one 10 year old child and we talk every day, this is just something I have to do.  

What is your hope for the future?

I would like to be a very nice pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist who can assist patients suffering from cardiac problems without having to wait for people to seldomly come on missions.

Where will you work when you return home?

I will return to the King Faisal Hospital in Rwanda.

Anything else you’d like to say about SACH/anything else you think I’ve missed about your story?

I would like to thank the team of Save a Child's Heart that has offered me the opportunity to come to Israel and build my fellowship.