How VHW Helped Me Manage My Emotional Stress

"Thank you for helping me manage my emotional stress and giving me hope again" - Renovat Ntirampeba, VHW Support group patient

Renovat Ntirampeba was born in a family with six children in Kirungu, a mountainous village located two hours from Kigutu. Renovat had a normal life and was a successful student but in the 10th grade, he started to feel a constant strong back pain accompanied by heart palpitations. Two years later the physical pain turned into emotional stress, and in 2015 he started to have nightmares about an armed man chasing him. Renovat spent nights crying and often ran out of his house. He was deemed a madman by the rest of his village. He spent days and nights tied to his bed with ropes so that his parents didn’t have to constantly keep a close eye on him.

Eventually, Renovat's parents took him to the neuro-Psychiatric center in Bujumbura -only one in Burundi- where he spent one week. Unable to afford the services, he went back home without medication assuming his fate was sealed.

In May 2015, Renovat came to the Sharon MacKenna Community Health Center in Kigutu where he now receives proper care at no cost. Renovat no longer suffers from nightmares and he can live without being tied by a rope.

Renovat is very thankful for Village Health Works: ”I’m no longer a madman in my neighborhood. When I meet someone on my way, he no longer runs away. I still have to recover a little bit more and then, I will try to get a job. Thank you for helping me manage my emotional stress and giving me hope again. Once I am completely cured, I will try to make my life fruitful." - Renovat