RUBAVU - The Minister of Health, Dr. Jean-Damascène Ntawukuriryayo, has called for immediate action to assist Government in its efforts to reduce the country’s alarming population growth rate. Currently estimated to be about 10 million, Rwanda’s population growth rate is among the highest in the region.
Ntawukuriryayo was addressing thousands of residents from Rubavu District at the official launch of Eau Sur, a water purifying liquid on Saturday at Petit Seminaire Nyundo.
PSI International board member and Hollywood A list star Ashley Judd who also attended the function commended the Government for putting healthcare issues high on its agenda.
She said: “Rwanda has been very successful in the implementation of Universal Primary Education and the treatment of malaria; however there is need to equally treat other diseases.”
Ntawukuriryayo said that it was important to launch Eau Sur in Rubavu because the district has a perennial problem of floods, which make all the water in area dangerous for human use.
One cupful of Eau Sur cleanses and purifies 20 litres of water, and the purifying process takes only 30 minutes. This, officials said, will reduce time spent boiling water by mothers and the cost of treating diseases emanating from dirty water.
The liquid will be distributed across the country through the lowest-administrative levels known as Imidugudu. This month alone, two people have died of Cholera in Rubavu District.
“It is easy to protect families against diseases especially Malaria; all they have to do is to protect themselves against mosquitoes,” said the minister. He encouraged residents in the area to improve their family hygiene.
“Many of you use banana plantations as toilets yet you very well know that floods are common in this area – then you complain that you are suffering from chronic cholera!”
PSI officials said a bottle of Eau Sur will cost Frw300, but people holding Mutuelle de Sante public insurance cards will pay even lesser. The Minister of Health also participated in Umuganda activities at Rubavu District on the same day.