BURERA- The visiting delegation from the US Congress, Thursday, toured Butaro Hospital, in Burera District.
The group that included three congressmen - Jim McDermott from Washington, Donald Payne (New Jersey) and Steve Cohen (Tennessee) and Carla Koppell from USAID, also visited a health centre and families supported by Community Health Workers.
The delegation that is in the country to review Rwanda’s progress in improving maternal and child health and visit programs supported by the US government, heard testimonies of the success of the health support initiatives in the area supported by Partners in Health-PIH, in collaboration with Clinton Foundation.
Speaking to the delegation, Antoinette Habinshuti, the Deputy Country Director for PIH, said that the Ministry of Health, in partnership with local and international partners, contributed to a decline in infant and child mortality.
“In the past few years, the under-five mortality rate has dropped from 152/1000 in 2005 to 27/1,000 live births as indicated in the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2010,’’ Habinshuti said.
The 152-bed hospital with modern medical equipment, ultra-modern buildings and ICT facilities was built at a cost of Rwf.5.8bn in a partnership between the Government of Rwanda, Partners in Health, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).
“We are working with the government of Rwanda to build high quality, affordable and sustainable health systems, most particularly in the rural and previously marginalised communities,” Habinshuti said.
The national community health program offers, a basic package of health services for infants, women of productive age, and patients with chronic communicable diseases at the community level.
“The community workers started advising me when I was pregnant to go for antenatal care. Even when I developed labour pains, they called an ambulance to take me. Now my child is two years and they still visit me,” Dorotia Nyirahabimana, from Nyamicucu cell, recollected.