Community Health Workers (CHW) have been recognized as the solution to extending health care closer to the people.
CHWs are elected in a participatory and open manner then trained by the ministry of Ministry of Health to improve the quality of care provided at household levels.
During a visit to Rwanda, last week, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Suzan Rice, commended the CHW, observing that Rwanda can provide lessons to many countries in need of a national well managed and functioning health care system.
Ambassador Rice visited two health facilities; Masaka Health Centre and Butaro District Hospital, where she expressed her appreciation of various home-grown initiatives that are making positive impact to the lives of the Rwandans.
She further hailed Rwanda’s Community based health insurance, Mutuelle de Santé as breaking financial accessibility to healthcare and said hospitals like Butaro which are community-based and well equipped, break geographical barrier to healthcare.
“She (Rice) also recognized the partnership between Butaro Hospital and Harvard University, where the medical school is involved in exchange programs with hospital,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Health.
Inaugurated at the beginning of the year, Butaro hospital was built under the partnership of the Government of Rwanda, a US-based NGO, Partners in Health, President Bill Clinton and Friends of Rwanda such as Dan Nova.
The Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho thanked the US government for supporting the country to build a sustainable health sector.
“We appreciate and value the contribution of the US government and NGOs that build sustainable infrastructure to provide quality care,” the Minister said.
Binagwaho explained that the government works as one at national and local level with a unique objective of offering a better life for Rwandans, based on a healthy educated and economically empowered population.
“As a Government, we protect our democracy by always engaging our people on the necessary development policies in health, educations, gender, youth, decentralization, finances as well as strategies for economic independence of our people.” Minister Binagwaho added.
Rice concluded her visit over the weekend.