German politician hails Rwanda’s health system

KIGALI - The German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, yesterday commended Rwanda’s health system pointing out the community-based approach as impressive.
German Minister for Economic cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel (R) tours Kigali central Hospital yesterday, accompanied by Health Minister Richard Sezibera and the Hospital Director Theobald Hategekimana. (Photo/ J Mbanda)
German Minister for Economic cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel (R) tours Kigali central Hospital yesterday, accompanied by Health Minister Richard Sezibera and the Hospital Director Theobald Hategekimana. (Photo/ J Mbanda)

KIGALI - The German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, yesterday commended Rwanda’s health system pointing out the community-based approach as impressive.

Niebel who was in the country for a one-day visit, made these remarks at the TRAC Plus headquarters in Kigali after his official visit to the Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK).

“The health system in Rwanda is different from that in Germany. I believe it is the right thing to start at the village level. Capacity building efforts are equally commendable so Rwanda is on the right track,” he said.

While addressing the German team of 50 delegates, the Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera highlighted the country’s progress in the sector identifying medical insurance coverage as a backbone to major health achievements.

“As a way of curbing major health issues, Rwanda has ensured access to health insurance coverage for all citizens, and by the end of last year, we registered 92 percent coverage countrywide. 85 percent of these are under the community-based health insurance while the rest are covered by other systems.

“We still aim at universal coverage because as a result of this, over 60 percent of our population use the available health facilities,” Sezibera explained.

As regards, the accessibility to quality care, the health minister also noted that so far, there are 415 health centres which cover 30,000 people in villages as well as 42 district hospitals that handle about 300,000 people.

“There are five referral hospitals and the doctor patient ratio is1 to 20,000. We however still have challenges of very few private clinics and hospitals, skilled personnel and lack of quality diagnostics and equipment,” he added.

The delegation expressed its commitment to the bilateral relationship between the two nations and officials commended Rwanda’s mutual accountability processes.

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