BBC: How Rwanda Saved 590,000 Children and Lessons for Countries

BBC: How Rwanda Saved 590,000 Children and Lessons for Countries

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera, Rwanda}Photo credit: Todd Shapera, Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the "biggest success stories" of countries improving child survival since 2000, the BBC World News reported April 29, 2015, linking to a podcast on BBC's The Inquiry.  

Randy Wilson, Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), spoke with BBC The Inquiry's Helena Merriman about MSH's role supporting Rwanda's efforts, including training community health workers with RapidSMS to saves lives. Said Wilson:

We helped to introduce RapidSMS within the districts, training 45,000 community health workers, many of whom who had never touched a cell phone in their life.

Wilson continued: "If there's even the slightest evidence" of a health concern, RapidSMS "encourages the community health worker not only to refer, but also to accompany, the mother to a facility where they get proper care."

{Screenshot, BBC, April 29, 2015}Screenshot, BBC, April 29, 2015According to the BBC:

Between 2000 and 2015, [Rwanda] achieved the highest average annual reduction in both the under-five mortality rate and the maternal mortality ratio in the world.

The report and podcast, both called, "How has Rwanda Saved the Lives of 590,000 Children?" feature four experts (including Wilson) on how Rwanda strengthened the health system to save children's and mother's lives, and what other countries can learn from Rwanda's successes. The Inquiry is broadcast on BBC's World Service.

Read more on the BBC World News.

Visit BBC's The Inquiry to listen online or download the podcast.