Improving Health Care in Rwanda

After the 1994 genocide that caused the death of nearly 1 million people, a quick recovery for Rwanda was an absolute necessity. The various governments that have since ruled the country have tried to outline a clear vision for the future. It is mainly the current government of president Kagame that imposes the necessary measures to achieve these future goals. The Rwandan government wants to evolve into a
knowledge-based economy, where the number of Rwandans involved in agriculture will be reduced from the current 80% to 50% in 2020.

Rwanda is considered to be a country that has recovered remarkably well and whose economy is obviously growing. The government makes it no secret that Singapore is one of the role models for the modernization and development of Rwanda. Also, in terms of safety, organization, and tidiness, Rwanda ranks very high compared to other countries in Africa.

Due to the overall recovery, health care has also been developed and extended in rural areas during recent years. Many health centers were renovated or even newly built. Rwanda Works is one of the leading organizations responsible for this. They invest in the development of a health care system that is accessible to everyone. In collaboration with Columbia University’s Access Project, they provide the necessary
infrastructure and financial resources to build and maintain these health centers.

My photo story is located in the maternity department at the Gashora Health Center in the Bugesera District, one of the regions most affected by the genocide. This health center was officially opened in May 2010 and has running water, electricity, an equipped laboratory, a kitchen, a laundry room and a library with internet access. The inhabitants of the region can use the facilities for medical assistance.

Due to the proximity of such health centers and the availability of necessary medicines and vaccinations, the mortality rate for children under the age of 5 has decreased from 152 per 1000 in 2005 to 103 per 1000 in 2008. The infant mortality rate under the age of 1 dropped from 103 per 1000 in 1990 to 70 per 1000 in 2009.

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