Improving Healthcare in Rwanda has become a major priority in the country and great strides have been made.
In 2008, there was just one doctor serving 350,000 people in Rwanda’s Burera district and the health statistics were amongst the worst in the country.
The newly opened Butaro hospital is the central pillar of the public health system that serves the entire community. The aim is to ensure that no one is more than an hour’s walk from a health centre and that, in an emergency, patients can be transferred quickly to the district hospital.
Rwanda has been called the land of a thousand hills. A beautiful sight for tourists – but a serious obstacle to getting healthcare for the 90 percent of Rwandans who live in this rugged countryside. Butaro hospital is a key part of the government’s strategy to improve access to healthcare in rural areas.
Child mortality lowered:
In this film we meet some of the patients and doctors. One patient, Nikuze Anne Marie believes her premature baby’s life was saved by this strategy. In the past there were almost no ambulances. Now there is one at every health centre. Nikuze Anne Marie was taken by ambulance to Butaro hospital. Her baby was the first to be born there. Even simple technology, like a radiant warmer, which regulates a baby’s body temperature, can save lives.
Child mortality has now dropped by 55 percent in the district. Rates of acute malnutrition in young children has dropped by 65 percent in just a few years.
Model of Development:
Even though Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world, there’s been tremendous progress in terms of improvements in health, education and other development indicators and as a result of that the rest of sub Saharan Africa is now looking to Rwanda for a new and better way of doing things for a better model of development.