Rwanda: Our Impact

{Photo Credit: Denise Museminali}Amina, a community health worker, urged Jean Cyiza to take his son Daniel to the Ntoma Health Center for nutritional support after she diagnosed him as severely malnourished.Photo Credit: Denise Museminali

When Daniel was just 11 months old, his mother suddenly passed away from illness. Without her, he was no longer able to breastfeed and gradually became malnourished. In Rwanda, 38 percent of children under five years old experience chronic malnutrition, or stunting.[i] Stunted children tend to perform poorly in school and are less likely to become productive adults In fact, the World Bank Group estimates that malnourished children are at risk of losing 10 percent of their lifetime earning potential.[ii]

{Photo Credit: RMA}Participants at the 19th Rwanda Medical Association's Annual Scientific Conference and General Assembly.Photo Credit: RMA

"Marginalized populations are not always a few people at the extreme margins of society; sometimes they make up the majority of the population,” said Dr. Koffi Ange Houngbedhi, SDGs Center of Africa, at the Rwanda Medical Association’s 19th Annual Scientific Conference and General Assembly. “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to encourage an integrated approach to development, with a focus on the most vulnerable people.

 {Photo courtesy of Sherri Haas}MSH staff at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017.Photo courtesy of Sherri Haas

Management Sciences for Health’s work across the digital health spectrum was shared at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017 (GDHF 2017) in Washington, D.C. December 4-6, 2017. The GDHF is the premier global conference on the use of digital technology for health in low- and middle-income countries. MSH is an Advisory Board Member of the Global Digital Health Network and contributed substantially to development of the conference. The theme this year was The Evolving Digital Health Landscape: Progress, Achievements, and Remaining Frontier.

 {Photo Credit: Ruhengeri Hospital staff}Patients waiting at Ruhengeri Hospital Internal Medicine Ward.Photo Credit: Ruhengeri Hospital staff

When Ruhengeri Hospital in northern Rwanda upgraded from a district to a referral hospital in 2014, it began receiving cases from 15 health centers in its own district and from five hospitals in surrounding districts. In 2015 alone, the hospital experienced close to 6,000 monthly outpatient visits, about 25 percent above previous levels and now among the highest in the entire country. Such numbers proved how important the status upgrade had been in relation to local health needs, but the facility struggled to consistently meet those needs.

When her daughter was born three months early and had to be delivered by caesarean section, Helen was frightened. “Giving birth is sometimes scary. It was even scarier for me because I didn’t give birth the natural way that I wanted,” she said. Thanks to care provided by staff in the maternal unit of Kibungo hospital, a provincial hospital in eastern Rwanda, Helen healed well and her baby was healthy. Her story might have had a different outcome just a few years ago.

 {Photo Credit: Todd Shapera}Gisenyi District Hospital, RwandaPhoto Credit: Todd Shapera

Rwanda’s Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) scheme has greatly increased access to health care services and reduced the burden of health care costs, especially for the poor, according to a recent study from Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the University of Rwanda-College of Medicine and Health Sciences-School of Public Health (UR-CMHS-SPH, or SPH), supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.

 {Graphic: African Strategies for Health}Officials from nine African countries convened in Ghana to find solutions to common challenges of attaining universal health coverage (UHC) with sustainability and improved quality of care.Graphic: African Strategies for Health

by African Strategies for Health The goals of universal health coverage (UHC) can only be delivered when access to health services and financial risk protection are equitably addressed.

{Photo credit: Philbert Rugumire}Photo credit: Philbert Rugumire

In just two years, staff at Ruhengeri referral hospital in the Northern Province of Rwanda reduced the rate of newborn deaths within their facility to 1.4 percent, one-third of their 2013 baseline. Neonatal mortality in this facility is now half the sub-Saharan African average of 2.8 percent in 2015 (WHO Global Health Observatory Data Repository).

 {Photo credit: MSH}Attendees at the Rwanda Health Systems Strengthening Activity launch in Kigali.Photo credit: MSH

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), Rwanda’s Ministry of Health (MOH), and implementing partner Management Sciences for Health (MSH) launched the Rwanda Health Systems Strengthening Activity (RHSSA) in Kigali on Tuesday. Development partners and guests of honor Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho and USAID Rwanda Mission Director Peter Malnak attended the event. The five-year project officially began on November 17, 2014.

After five years of partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Health, the Integrated Health Systems Strengthening Project (IHSSP) is drawing to a close. The project, leaders from the MSH home office, USAID Rwanda, and local and international partners gathered in Kigali on November 13 to celebrate the project’s many successes and share the wealth of knowledge it generated. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, thanked MSH for the support it provided, which she said, “…enabled us to accelerate health progress and helped us to achieve our vision.”

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