INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS - The Prime Minister Bernard Makuza has called for increased voluntary testing for HIV/Aids and malaria among Rwandans saying that good health and economic development in households will develop the country’s economy.
Makuza was speaking to the press at the Prime Holdings, Kimihurura shortly after holding talks with the visiting US Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt. The two assessed the progress of US supported health programmes in Rwanda.
He said that economic development at household level can’t be easily achieved unless the people adopt sustainable health precautions.
“We have held talks on how those programmes are going on and how they will continue in the country. This is pertinent because when people are health they can easily empower themselves economically,” Makuza said.
Leavitt, who had just returned from a visit to Rubungo clinic in Gasabo District, expressed satisfaction at how the US Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) is benefiting the local populace.
He said that Rwandans should adhere to testing and counseling services and assured that the US and Rwandan governments will continue to work together to treat those living with HIV/Aids virus.
“I saw that the programmes are having an impact on the ground because every child with fever can get medicine. They demonstrated to me that this was a very successful programme. We must remain vigilant against HIV/AIDS,” he said.
While in Gasabo, Leavitt toured different health initiatives that are treating malaria in children under the age of five and Rwandan health care workers who provide training and refresher courses to drug distributors.
The Presidential Malaria Initiative has so far injected $20 million in the anti-malaria health initiative in among other places; Kigali; Southern and Eastern provinces.
This year alone, the U.S government has provided $130 million through such health initiatives as PMI and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Rwanda.
Leavitt is scheduled to leave today after visiting another US-funded anti-malaria project in Karongi District, Western Province.Ends