WHO Africa Chief Commends Rwanda’s Health Progress
Kigali 11 June 2012 –The visiting WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo has commended Rwanda for adopting an innovative approach in designing and implementing health care programs that have delivered good results for the country.
Dr. Sambo is visiting Rwanda to learn more about our programs and assess progress on the ground with the view of sharing some success stories with the rest of the continent.
“You are moving in the right direction and you are moving quite fast,” Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo said while meeting the Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho this morning. “The progress you have made is good and a source of inspiration for other countries on the continent.”
The WHO Africa chief said he was in Rwanda to draw lessons on some innovations and interventions especially within decentralization of Health services, Health financing (mutuelle de santé and performance based financing)as well as management of human resource for health, areas in which Rwanda was scoring well.
He said because of the consistence in program implementation, Rwanda was leading in many aspects of health indicators such as being the first country on the continent to significantly reduce child mortality and HIV/AIDS mortality.
“You are the fastest country in the region reducing child mortality and on course of achieving MDG 4. Rwanda is also the number one country on the African continent posting impressive data on reduction of HIV/AIDS mortality rate,” Dr. Sambo said.
Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho hailed the partnership that exists between Rwanda and WHO and particularly commended the regional office for supporting numerous projects that Rwanda designs.
Minister Binagwaho outlined some of the achievements within different programs of the sector mainly captured in the 2010 Demographic Health Survey(DHS) and projections for the future. She particularly emphasized that Rwanda was now rolling out an aggressive policy on health strengthening all geared at improving the quality of health care delivered.
Dr. Sambo also noted that the new male circumcision device, Prepex, that Rwanda is conducting research on is a promising tool that deserves support. “If it is successful in Rwanda, it will be an advantage for the rest of the region and we are certainly looking forward to the success of this project.”
He pointed out some hurdles that remain such as reducing more the number of neonatal mortality and combating chronic malnutrition.
The official also visited Nyamata district hospital and Mayange health centre where he held discussions on performance based financing and the steps taken to improve mental health care. He visited a community health worker’s home in the same district and witnessed firsthand how the CHWs offer health services in communities.
Dr. Sambo is on a four day working visiting and is expected to hold meetings with senior Government officials and tour health-related projects across the country.