Egypt has promised to support Rwanda’s largely successful efforts to improve health services, particularly programmes to eliminate malaria.
Malaria remains the leading cause of death, especially among children under five, world-wide.
While addressing the media at the Egyptian Embassy in Kigali on Thursday, Negm Namira, the Egyptian ambassador to Rwanda, said that Rwanda and Egypt intend to boost bilateral relations through cooperation in the health sector.
“We are already supporting the health sector, but we intend to put in more effort to support government programmes and initiatives to prevent the spread of malaria as well as establish a center of water studies,” he said.
Namira said that the two countries have already held various consultative meetings to strengthen cooperation; and that through the Ministry of Health, the Egyptian government will also arrange visits by Egyptian doctors to carry out surgeries and treatment of various health complication in the country.
Although 900,000 malaria cases were registered in 2013 with 409 deaths, statistics from the Ministry of Health show that Rwanda has made significant achievements to reduce the incidence of malaria.
This is attributed to various initiatives such as distribution of free bed nets, improved diagnosis and timely treatment.
However, malaria incidence is reported to be on the increase lately, something the Ministry of Health has attributed to substandard bed nets that were procured and distributed in 2013.
Sources in the ministry say that despite the World Health Organization certifying the bed nets, it was later discovered that their efficacy was low.
This was realized after the ministry conducting a survey to establish the cause of new cases of malaria. The Ministry has since started redistributing better nets with at least 2 million nets distributed to replace those found deficient.