Health Sector on Course of Achieving Key Indicators
New program to bridge skill’s gap & create high quality and sustainable healthcare system.
Kigali, 22 June 2012 : The adoption of innovative approaches and a strong commitment to improve health care delivery are the pillars of an approach that has set Rwanda on course to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) as well Health sector targets within vision 2020.
A mid-year assessment of progress for 2012 show significant progress in the areas of improving the quality of health care and strengthening Rwanda’s health system, leading to better service delivery and a sustained reduction in the prevalence of major infectious diseases across the country.
“We are building on a solid foundation that has been created by the strong leadership of this country at all levels,” said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho ahead of addressing the quarterly press conference. “Our goal is to ensure that every Rwandan accesses affordable, sustainable and quality health care services as a basic human right.”
The Honorable Minister highlighted some of the key achievements attained within the first half of the year 2012 such as the successful rollout of the reformed policy on Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI), known as Mutuelle de santé, in the 2011-2012 financial year. The Honorable Minister also noted massive scale up of this new policy, with 90.7 of the eligible population currently enrolled.
“Mutuelle de santé has become a household brand because of the strong value Rwandans attach to it,” said Dr. Binagwaho. “As we begin a new mutuelle de sante year, in July 2012, I congratulate the 90.7% of Rwandans who made their contribution during the last financial year and call upon everyone to make their contribution ahead of time so that they may have access to health care without any hindrances.”
In addition to progress within Mutuelle de santé, the Honorable Minister also outlined more achievements in the Health Sector. These include ;
Sustained reduction in both incidence and prevalence rates of major infectious diseases, including steep declines in AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria mortality.
Improved management of CBHI by providing technical support and training of CBHI managers and accountants. All Districts have bank accounts of CBHI funds for better coordination.
Construction of Ruhango District Hospital which opened its doors to the population in May this year.
Construction of Kinihira, Bushenge and Kibuye hospitals that are now in final stages of completion.
Introduction of new vaccines such as Rota virus vaccine for children and the continued rolled out of HPV vaccinations to protect women against cervical cancer.
Acquisition of more medical supplies and equipment including 8 ambulances, 30 drug trucks and motorcycles to facility delivery of services.
With special emphasis, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho introduced a new program entitled ‘Human Resources for Health’ which launches this July and aims to bridge the skills’ gap within the sector and to promote the development of a high quality and sustainable healthcare system.
"The HRH program will enable us establish a critical number of highly skilled professionals to ensure access to quality health services for people at all levels of the health system, from the referral hospitals to the community level," the Honorable Minister said. "Through HRH the number, quality, and skill level of Rwandan clinicians and health sciences educators, including medical doctors, nurses and midwives, as well as oral health professionals will dramatically increase."
It is expected that during its seven year time frame, the HRH program will increase the number of physicians and specialists in areas such as internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, and anesthesiology, substantially advance the level of nurses and midwives by increasing the number of nurses and midwives with recognized credentials and increase the number of trained health managers.
As regards the 2012/2013 Budget, the Honorable Minister said Government of Rwanda has increased funding to the health sector by 11.6% rising from Rwf66.3 billion last financial year to Rwf74 billion this year.
She said much of the spending would go to improving geographical accessibility to care, availing drugs and consumables as well as improving quality and demand for services in control of diseases.
The Honorable Minister noted that while a lot has been achieved, there’s need for more improvements in the areas of delivering quality of health care delivered, emphasizing customer care at the facility level, and eliminating chronic malnutrition among children.
"Chronic childhood malnutrition among our children does not result from failure to produce enough food but rather from the fact that we are using what we have incorrectly," the Honorable Minister added. She emphasized that eradicating it is a matter of organization, management and implementation coordinated at the grass root level.