What should the health sector focus on in 2019?

Issues to do with health are a concern to everyone. Although there were many triumphs in the health sector in 2018, there is still more effort needed to create awareness and improve the general health status of people. Health Times’ Joan Mbabazi asked a cross-section of people what they think the health sector should focus on in 2019;

Eva Mutumba, Teacher

Health is one of the most important issues that can lead to the development of any community or country. In schools, we need primary health centres (PHC) that can help with hygiene and sanitation for girls and boys. If a child fails to learn about this at home, they will not fail at school where there is a PHC set up. They will be able to learn about the health of their body, and the surroundings. To the sectors or villages, we look at the preservation of our environment starting within our very homes. In 2019, let’s have a deep look at proper feeding of our young ones. Children need proper nutrition to grow healthy, strong and wise. Let us preserve our environments from killer diseases of all sorts and also burn rubbish, and minimise acts like smoking in public places, among others. Girls still need counselling on early pregnancy. Health is a great pillar in our lives. Let’s keep healthy this year.







Dr Eric Mutabazi, Senior Physiotherapist, Oshen-King Faisal Hospital

Emphasis should be put on fighting NCDs (non-communicable diseases). Lifestyle diseases are increasing in Rwanda, especially back pain syndrome and neck pains. Our people should be sensitised by experts about regular exercise, at least 30 minutes every day, and nutrition. We expect to see more, precise breast cancer therapies and targeted treatment. We hope to have a new kind of patient monitoring through using artificial intelligence algorithms, they can predict which patients will get in trouble and let doctors and nurses intervene, ideally before it becomes critical. There should be drones to distribute medicine to isolated areas. Cancer patients should access radiotherapy sessions in Rwanda instead of being transferred in India after chemotherapy sessions. A culture of research and publications with the health sector should be promoted and financed by the MoH.







Yussouf Ntwali, Entrepreneur

Service should be improved. It is very slow, and you have to wait for long yet sometimes you just need to inquire about something simple and quick. People need to be attended to immediately. The Ministry of Health should also incorporate technology, for instance, through applications where someone can access medical services without going to the hospital, or provide contacts that patients should use to get in touch with doctors.









Otim John Bosco, Teacher at Nu-Vision High School, Kabuga

I think the health sector should focus on minimising the spread of communicable diseases like flu, cough, eye diseases, diarrhoea, TB, cholera, among others, in schools by emphasising personal hygiene among students. Handkerchiefs should be compulsory. Hand washing facilities in the toilets in all schools should be available. School inspectors should examine schools regularly focusing on the neatness and availability of satisfactory toilets. Free sanitary pads for all girls in both primary and secondary schools should be given to enable the girl child study without fear or isolation. Schools should have incinerators. Bad habits such as spitting on the road after coughing, nose picking and nose blowing without a handkerchief should be discouraged in schools. This can be done through various advertisements and other platforms encouraged by the Government.







James Monari, a Lawyer at Law Firm Fidelis Advocates

The health sector should focus on proper service delivery in terms of availability of qualified doctors, services and drugs in all hospitals in the country. The public still needs to be taught about the possible ways of fighting or curbing HIV/AIDs. Malnutrition is still an issue affecting kids in rural areas, it should be solved.









Dr Stephenson Musiime, Chief Consultant Paediatrician GLAMERC POLYCLINIC, Remera

I think the Ministry of Heath should keep on addressing the causes of diseases and letting people know how best they can prevent them. Health facilities in all centres should be available and all Rwandans should be encouraged to go for thorough body check-ups so that in case of any issue, they get treatment as early as possible.









Alexandre Nshimiyimana, Entrepreneur

“1,000 days campaign” that helps to prevent child stunting should not only stop when kids make 1,000 days. Children still need health care, especially on issues to do with hygiene, as they are active and can easily play with dirt, which can lead to infections. More emphasis has to be put on children until they are grown enough. There are some health conditions that health insurance cannot cover, thus incurring more costs for treatment. This needs to be revised by the Ministry of Health.