Rwamagana –Burundi’s Minister for Public Health and anti-HIV/Aids campaign, Dr. Sabine Ntakarutimana, yesterday visited Rwamagana Hospital to learn more about Rwanda’s strides in the fight against maternal mortality.
Dr. Ntakarutimana, who is leading a delegation of 10 people, said the two countries have a lot to share to improve on the livelihoods of their peoples.
The delegation includes the Governors of Cankuzo and Kayanza provinces, as well as officials from the country’s health ministry.
“The peoples of the two nations share a lot...owing to their socio-cultural similarities. The success of Rwanda in reducing maternal mortality rate can be replicated in Burundi,” she said.
Ntakarutimana added that her government, like Rwanda, was committed to the reduction of maternal mortality.
She observed that Rwanda health services have reached a level that Burundi needs to emulate.
“A district hospital in Burundi has a maximum of three general medical practitioners, compared to 12 in Rwanda. Where we have one ambulance, there are five in Rwanda and mothers’ death here is much lower...this is a level we must seek to arrive at.”
Dr. Avit Mutaganzwa, the hospital’s acting Director, said the district managed to reduce maternal mortality rate to a reasonable rate. He, however, pointed out that there are socio-cultural challenges that continue to derail family planning programmes.
“Our audit shows a steady reduction in maternal deaths...there are no cases of mother’s death in homes. The deaths we register are only a result of late arrival at the hospital by expectant mothers.
Such cases could be blamed on various factors, including traditional beliefs,” he told the Burundian delegation.
The Governor of Cankuzo Province, Jean Berchmas Ntiyirugira, commended Rwanda for its family planning campaign.
“Rwanda talks of over 60% achievement in family planning. In Burundi, we are still at 20%; the gap is big enough to learn from your experience,” he said.
The delegation later visited Gatsibo Family Planning post.