GAKENKE - At least 150 women from two sectors of Gakenke District have been rewarded for having under gone the mandatory four antenatal checkups and delivering from health centres.
The rewards that include, traditional wear, locally known as ‘bitenge’ and household items was initiated by Nemba Health Centre, which mobilized over Rwf500,00 to buy the items.
According to the health officials, the initiative to reward the exemplary mothers aims at encouraging pregnant women to seek medical attention, and deliver under prescribed health management system in order to prevent maternal and child mortality rates.
Prosper Niyitegeka, the head of Nemba Health Centre, said that much as a reward scheme is in existence authorities have also instituted measures that are meant to curb non compliance.
“We charge a fine of Rwf1000 for every woman who does not deliver or complete the expected antenatal treatment,” he said. “As a result of such measures the number of women seeking prenatal care has risen from 9 percent in 2009 to 25 percent in 2010.’’
The district vice Mayor, Hycianthe Twishime, said the district has stepped up a sensitization campaign on the importance of antenatal care.
According to available statistics, last month, 20 children out of 574 under the age of 0 to 5 years died, and only 45 percent of the married people have sought family planning in the district.
Twishime added that the main challenge remains changing the residents’ mindset as traditional stereotypes still hinder use of modern family planning methods and related child delivery systems.