Dr Alexis Nizigiyimana was born in Mugamba commune in the province of Bururi an under-developed, poverty-stricken rural neighborhood that has no health care services within a 60 km distance. Mugamba Commune is a rural area located in southern Burundi with a population of about 110,000 offerings no medical clinic, no medical doctors, no lab equipment, no pharmacies, and very few services. In addition, the five surrounding communes with a population totaling around 2 million peoples are also severely lacking in health care services. Over 60% of women deliver at home without the assistance of a qualified professional. The whole country including Mugamba commune has the highest maternal and under five children mortality rate in the world due to complication during pregnancy and childbirth accounting for respectively 740/100000, and 72/1000 live births. To response to this public health crisis, Dr Alexis, after having participated in Mandela Washington fellowship (MWF) and International Leadership Program (IVLP) in USA in 2017, I was very impressed with American culture, people and the way Americans do business and community service during my exchange visit. Dr. Alexis also has been inspired by his one-year master’s in public health at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, where he got exposure to public health solutions to health issues. Upon my return to Burundi from my exchange program, I started implementing the concepts and ideas into actions in my Country, Burundi. The first implementation inspired by my visit to the USA, was the foundation of an English Medical Center, which is expanded in different Universities and hospitals. Throughout this program, we empowered more than 10000 young people in English, and ICT thanks to the US Embassy’s support. I also set up a scientific journal called Burundi medical Journal (https://bmedj.com), whereby researchers can share evidence to community to inform decision making. Upon returning from Israel, and while completing my PhD studiesin health policy and management at University of Montreal in Canada, I founded a Ubuntu Village of life (http://ubuntuvillageoflife.org) whose mission is to support the disadvantaged peoples living in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular emphasis on Burundi.
Throughout his NGO, Dr Alexis initiated a first ever integrated health nutrition and food security program including a Medical Clinic Ubuntu in Mugamba commune which is equipped with lab equipment, ultrasound, eyes equipment’s, pharmacy and specialized health care providers to provide high quality healthcare services to around 2 million population of Mugamba commune and six surrounding communes. The inauguration ceremony was held on November 14,2020 in Mugamba commune, where more than 100 000 people attended the event including Governor of Bururi province, representative of Government, delegate of MoH, administrators, country representative of USAID Burundi, MWF/IVLP, and community members from Mugamba, and 5 surrounding communes. During that day, different activities were organized such as: basketball game between Bururi and Mugamba commune teams, massive free screening of 1000 peoples on diabetes, hypertensions, educational materials distributed to schools, and community services. To conclude I thank the US embassy/USAID, Hebrew University, University of Montreal, and other persons who have been contributing to achieve this milestone. I also call upon donors to speed up to support this multisectoral project, which include a construction of a referral maternal and child health polyclinic, a demonstration center for maternal prenatal ad child nutrition for first 1000 days, and a fruits production program over the next five years.