There is still a gap in the health care delivery systems at the primary level which needs to be plugged, according to a delegate at the just-concluded regional conference on healthcare delivery in Kigali.
June Omollo, the project manager for the Community Life Centres at Philips East Africa, was speaking at the fourth East African Healthcare Federation Conference that ended on Tuesday.
‘‘Shortage of professional medical personel, lack of funds, poor management and lack of enough equipment were some of the factors that led to the existing gap in the healthcare delivery systems,’’ he said.
Omolo emphasised that the impact of Community Life Centres on patients is strongly significant because, without their services, many lives would be lost.
She said, “Two out of five children in Africa under the age of five die mostly because of waterborne diseases, every 90 seconds a woman dies in the delivery ward.”
Based in the Netherlands, Philips is a diversified technology company, focused on improving people’s lives through innovation in the areas of healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting.
Speaking to The New Times, Nathan Mugume, the head of communication at Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said the gap in the healthcare delivery systems in Rwanda is still significant though the Ministry of Health is putting in place a number of policies to help bridge it.
“We are trying to improve the healthcare service delivery system at the primary level by employing more community health care workers.
‘‘We have also built more health centres. These will create access to health services,” Mugume said.
He added that lack of enough equipment and qualified staff are some of the major factors holding back haelth care delivery system, adding that the ministry has deployed ten doctors in each district hospital though only a few of them are specialists.
He said; “We at least have a gynecologist, pediatrician, ear, nose and throat surgeon, among others at each district hospital and wish to employ more specialists as a way of increasing the number of the healthcare providers at the community level.”
Dr Jean Nyirinkwaya, the chairman of the Rwanda Healthcare Federation, said that the primary healthcare system in Rwanda is properly organised. ‘‘And the government is putting in place programmes that will help bridge the health delivery gap.’’
‘‘Most private clinics are located in Kigali and there are not so many in the country side because people there can barely afford private services,” Dr Nyirinkwaya, who is also the proprietor of Hopital Croix du Sud, said
“However, for us to contribute to the health care sector and plug the health delivery gap, we have started a project to construct more health centres.
‘‘We also have other programmes where we seek support from donors and the local population so that we can help improve health services in the country.” Dr Nyirinkwaya added.