Rwf5bn project to promote child, maternal health

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Rwanda has received a Rwf5 billion grant from Global Affairs Canada, through ADRA Canada and Christian Child Fund, to implement two new projects aimed at fighting maternal, newborn and child mortality and malnutrition in Nyabihu and Kayonza Districts.

The projects dubbed, ‘‘Embrace and Promise’’ were launched in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.

The projects aim to reduce malnutrition, maternal and child mortality rates and will specifically address issues critical to the health of expectant mothers, women of reproductive age, mothers, newborns and children under five.

The projects, set to begin this year, will end in 2020. Both Nyabihu and Kayonza districts have inadequate health infrastructures and low numbers of professionals in health centres. Nyabihu has 1 hospital and 16 health centres while Kayonza has 2 hospitals and 9 health centres.

This intervention is expected to benefit more than 122,000 women, children, adolescents and men in the two districts.

Speaking during the launch of the projects, Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, the State Minister in Charge of Public Health and Primary Health care, said maternal, newborn and child health care is the cornerstone of any development and it is, therefore, important to improve access to health care facilities across Rwanda.

He urged ADRA to work in close collaboration with community health workers, health facilities and centres and with the Local Government during the planning and implementation phases of the projects to ensure that maximum number of people benefit from the projects.

Dr Ngaite Nkomo, the Country Director of ADRA Rwanda, said ADRA is committed to working with the Local Government and communities.

“At the cell level, we are working with community health workers to improve pregnant mothers’ and newborn health and fight malnutrition among children. We are also involved in rehabilitating health centres and soon we will build a maternity centre in Jenda Sector in Nyabihu district.”

Paul George, the acting head of office for the Canadian High Commission for Rwanda and Burundi, pointed out that the two projects were part of Canada’s 3.5 billion Canadian dollars global investment to reduce maternal mortality and child malnutrition by 2020.

During the launch, Paul George handed over an ambulance donated by Global Affairs Canada through ADRA to Kintobo health centre, in Nyabihu District

According to officials, ‘‘Embrace and Promise’’ projects will complement ADRA Rwanda’s ongoing maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition interventions in Gatsibo and Kamonyi districts.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw