Rwanda spends more on health in East Africa
The State of East Africa Report 2012 indicates that Rwanda spent US$48 on each individual’s healthcare in 2009, representing a fivefold increase since 2000, a feat which is unmatched by its East African counterparts.
The report was published by the Society for International Development (SID), with support from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
Uganda had the second highest per capita health expenditure of US$43 in the region, followed by Kenya with US$33, Tanzania with US$25 and lastly Burundi, which spent US$20.
“Investing in health is a priority for the government, and for a country’s economy to grow, it needs healthy people whose productivity is sustainable, that is why it has always been a priority in Rwanda,” Arthur Asiimwe, in Charge of Communication at the Health Ministry said.
Funding for the Ministry of Health, also increased by 11.6 percent for the financial year 2012/13, from Rwf 66.3 billion in 2011/2012 to Rwf 74 billion.
According to the Minister of Health, much of the spending will be dedicated to improving geographical accessibility to healthcare, availing drugs and improving quality, demand for services.
The report also indicated that the prevalence of HIV declined across East Africa, with the exception of Uganda where it jumped from 4.1 percent to 6.5 percent.
Rwanda had the lowest prevalence rate in the region at 2.9 percent, a reduction from 5.1 percent in 2003.
Kenya’s recorded 6.2 percent prevalence rate whereas Tanzania’s rate fell from 8.8 in 2003 to 5.7 in 2010.
“HIV prevalence rates have improved compared to the baseline year in 2003, possibly due to increased access to anti-retroviral treatment and significant involvement from governments and non-governmental organisations that seek to subsidize costs for drugs and promote prevention,” the report states.
Rwanda had the highest rate of contraceptive use among women that stands at 52 percent. Tanzania and Kenya were approximately 24 and 28 percent respectively, while Burundi more than doubled contraceptive use to 22 percent from 9 percent. Uganda was the only country in the region to report a decline in the use of contraceptives among women, from 17 to 15 percent.
Contact email: ivan.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw