GBF friends are not strangers to Dr. Rigo Muhayangabo. We lodged with Dr. Rigo and the International Rescue Committee staff in Kolahun, when conducting our learning case study targeting pregnancy and liberian youth girls last summer. He became a trusted friend during our stay. And over the past couple of months, he’s come to be formidable informal advisor to the Maternal Care Packages program in Liberia. When we reached out to him about formalizing his role he was more than excited. Meet Dr. Rigo below:
1. Who is Rigo?
Rigo Fraterne Muhayangabo M, is a general surgeon, citizen of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo dedicated to humanitarian services. He works as Medical Coordinator with the International Rescue Committee in Liberia, a non for profit organization which serves refugees and communities victimized by oppression and violent conflict worldwide. In the past, he worked with Merlin (Medical Emergency Relief International) in Liberia and with the Ministry of Health in Rwanda through global fund supported projects.
2.How did you get involved with the GBF and why?
I met Mrs Gbomai Bestman Johnson a year and half ago when she introduced to methe GBF and revealed me her intention of coming at Kolahun for an initial rapid assessment pertaining the culture of pregnancy in Liberian teenagers. I found her battle vital but I didn’t say much as I wasn’t sure how things would materialize.
The teenager’s pregnancy and maternal mortality have been a big challenge in Liberia for clinicians and communities. Many initiatives promoting family planing, promoting the use of health services through awareness and free of charge services, the implication of community health volunteers and traditional midwives, and more have failed to stabilize the situation in Liberia. Liberia is still reported among countries with high maternal and infantile mortality as result of complications of pregnancy and deliveries.
With the fore mentioned reasons, and knowing the multiples challenges that our actions are facing in all their phases of implementation in Liberia, i decided to join the GBF to continue bringing my expertise to the change of this unwanted situation into a desired situation where no mother should die in the process of the delivery and no child should die or develop short term, mid term or long term complications.
I was happy to be a part of the team which conducted the assessment on the culture of pregnancy in July 2011 at Kolahun-Lofa county-Liberia republic. The findings of this study will serve in the future proposal development and as baseline to monitor the improvement of this situation.