Kigali – Rwanda from 5 to 7 November 2018, a medical team called “Dream Doctors” from Israel was in Kigali for a 3 days training program called: “Rwanda 2018 – Medical and Humanitarian Clowning”. This program included different activities in different places including a workshop at Kimisagara Youth Center, a lecture to CHUK hospital doctors on Medical Clowning, clowns performance for kids at Kimisagara Youth Center, practicum at CHUK Hospital and performance at Gisimba Orphanage.
The Partner attended the practicum at University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), having been informed about this event by the Israeli Embassy in Rwanda base in Addis-Ababa – Ethiopia by a press release and the program schedule.
The “Dream Doctors” is presented as a project-clowning in the service of medicine that began its work at the Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem in 2002. The Dream Doctors role is to provide the patient (usually a child) with everything in the clown’s toolbox to add different dimensions to the experience of hospitalizations so that the child remains with moments of laughter and smiles, memories of pleasurable games, childishness and self-confidence.
Clowning is used as an assisting therapeutic tool in many medical treatments and procedures. It is based on listening and being sensitive to others and environment as expressed in the programme paper by David Dash Barash and Zoyka Hayat; and so did the team accompanying the medical staff and treatment personnel in the pediatric section of CHUK.
“One of most important and mayor aspect of the Dream Doctors’ work is the cooperation with the medical staff and treatment personnel in the hospital, working as part of the medical team. Dozens of procedures and complex treatments need to be carried out daily in hospital units. A dream Doctor is present at each procedure with children, with the consent and knowledge of the medical staff. The clown’s goal is to assist the medical staff in carrying out the procedure in the best way possible, as the clown adapts the performance to the situation calling upon all of the clowning skills possible, with careful coordination with the medical staff and full cooperation”.
According to Doctor AHISHAKIYE MABURO Richard a Pediatric Resident at CHUK, the team of Dream Doctors told them about themselves and discussed on clowns therapy. He finds this experience very positive, recognizing that treatment alone is not enough. He saw how children were amused as well as their mothers and nurses, and hope that the medical staffs would be trained so that they could do it too. Obviously, he added, the social service of CHUK facilitates children to play and give them some toys, but go to bed and care for the child under the pain of treatment is something new.
Richard Habimana 14, and Jean d’Amour Ntakirutimana 13, appreciated so much. They said they were very much looking forward to receiving gifts and meeting very nice people who made them laugh. They are waiting to be cured and are eager to return to school.
As it is revealed that this integration of medical clowns has become more popular and applied in an increasing number of hospitals in Israel and worldwide, we can hope that this method will take bases at the CHUK and then gradually spread through other hospitals in the country.