KIGALI - Rwanda has registered massive registered tremendous growth in the social sector in the last 16 years as a result of massive investment by the government in the education, health, social welfare, public service and youth development.
Highlighting the achievements yesterday ahead of the Liberation Day celebrations this Sunday, Ministers Richard Sezibera (Health) Charles Murigande (Education) Anastase Murekezi (Public Service) and the State Minister for Social Welfare, Christine Nyatanyi, gave an outline of where the country is 16 years after the struggle.
Sezibera noted that the health sector has grown tremendously since 2003 and today Rwanda has one of the most efficient health systems and continues to set the trend for other countries to follow.
“Since 2003, there has been a lot of development and growth in the health sector. The government put in place special programmes to fight epidemic disease, especially HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis,”
“We have in place the 5-year strategic plan to streamline the health sector. The number of hospitals and health workers as well as capacity building in the sector, has gone up in the last 7 years,” Sezibera said.
He added that the number of hospitals has grown from 35 in 2003 to 41 in 2010. There are 347 health centres countrywide while 43 Maternities have been built.
A total of 430 health facilities operate in 416 sectors countrywide while there are about 107 health posts countrywide.
Among the new hospitals include Butaro, Ntongwe, Kacyiru Police Hospital, Masaka and Bushenge hospitals while Rwinkwavu, Gitwe and Muhima hospitals have been refurbished. Kigali Central Teaching Hospital (CHUK) had a new modern ward built.
According to Sezibera, the country has had an impressive record in the fight against HIV/AIDS with health facilities providing Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) growing from 44 in 2003 to 412 in 2010.
Over 382 health facilities around the country today provide Prevention from Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Services up from only 53 in 2003. 292 health centres provide ARV’s compared to only 16 in 2003.
Rwanda is also one of the few countries in Africa with the highest number HIV/AIDS patients being able to access drugs. The number of people accessing ARV’s has grown from 4,139 to 81,689 since 2003.
The country has been able to reduce tremendously the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate from 10.8% to 2.4% in 2008.
According to Sezibera, through the government efforts to fight malaria 58% of children and 62.3% of pregnant women today sleep in protected mosquito nets, up from just 13% 17.2% in 2003 respectively.
He added that the government has done a lot to reduce child mortality, encouraging voluntary testing and urging women to deliver from hospitals and that the government has provided ambulances and also has ensured medial insurance for all.
Family planning coverage has grown from 10% in 2003 to 45% in 2010 but the government is targeting 70%. The budget for the health sector has grown from 5.9% to 10.1% since 2003 and 92% of the population has medical insurance.