Rwanda is a shining Star in Africa says health Experts
Written by: Our Reporter
Tuesday, September 10th, 2019, 3:35
Rwanda is leading in home grown innovative solutions towards increasing access to health services mainly in rural hard to reach areas and health experts say it is making the country a shining star for the continent.
“Rwanda is the shining star of Africa, I think the standards and vision of the President and his team of building and working out this capability is the best I have seen in Africa,” said Damian Halloran, Abbott's vice president of infectious disease in emerging markets and rapid diagnostics.
Halloran noted that Abbot is helping to bring primary care capabilities closer to home for more people by building these new health posts with the goal of saving lives and reducing healthcare costs.
Such efforts has seen Rwanda’s life expectancy increase to 67 years from 36 in 1995 and climbing to 11th out of 51 African countries in achieving the UNs' Sustainable Develpment Goals aimed at improving health, as well as fighting poverty, protecting the environment and reducing inequality.
Accordingly, 83 percent of Rwandans live in rural areas and access to health services is a challenge as most have to take long distances to reach a facility. The Second-generation health posts are a new approach to address the challenge of lack of access to health care I hard to reach rural areas.
The health posts will be providing expanded health care services that include; annual health check-ups, a greater array of diagnostic testing for infectious diseases, ante-natal and maternal care, and management of non-communicable disease such as diabetes –within a 30-minute walk of all Rwandans' homes.
The new health posts are intended to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, while reducing the workload at higher levels of care, such as health centres and district hospitals by providing expanded primary health care ,” said Mannaseh Wandera Gihana, country Director, Society for Family health-SFH Rwanda.
"Second-generation health posts will help Rwanda address gaps in health care service delivery, especially in our rural areas," said Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health during the launch of the second generation health centres in Gikundamvura in Bugesera district.
She added, "After completing the pilot phase, we look forward to scaling up across the country and realizing gains in economic productivity from a healthier nation."
SFH is involved in change practices promotion emphasizing innovation in health communication and social marketing in areas of family planning, water, sanitation and hygiene, HIV/AIDS; malaria;; nutrition; and maternal and child health as well as Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health.
Wandera said that SFH has plans to further scale up these second generation health posts to across the country. So far SFH Rwanda has already built 171 first generation health posts in the country.
The 8 second Generation health posts named "Icyuzuzo’ (to add to what is being achieved in Universal Health coverage) in Bugesera were constructed in partnership with Society for Family Health Rwanda , global healthcare company and the ministry of health.
Four of the eight new health posts will be equipped with maternity wards; the other four, which are closest to existing maternity wards at health centres, will have kits for emergency deliveries.
“With this pioneering approach, we aim to demonstrate the health economics and patient value of expanding second-generation health post services across Rwanda and in other African countries,” said Jenna Daugherty, divisional vice president, Global Citizenship and Sustainability.
Clemantine Uwizeye, a mother of two says that the new health post will help pregnant mothers access antenatal care from near, which has not been the case previously with most preferring not to go for checkups.
“We have to over two hours to reach a health centre and spend the whole day there, it was tiresome for us,” she said
In addition to construction, SFH and Abbot Staff provided basic business skills training— such as budgeting and inventory management to help health post operators thrive as they create long-term sustainability of the independently operated health posts.