The progress so far made in averting maternal deaths in Rwanda is significant compared to other countries in the region. However, we still have a lot to do in sensitising pregnant women, in particular, and the Rwandan community, in general, in planning for their births.
Pregnancy has not yet been taken seriously in some areas. So it is up to the government to develop a multidisciplinary approach in addressing these issues.
As for me, this task should not only be limited to the nurses and midwives. Instead, it has to be an issue to be addressed by the media, educationists, politicians, lawmakers, social workers and public health practitioners.
Thus, we need to strengthen our behavioural change communication campaigns on the complication readiness, birth preparedness, nutrition during pregnancy, and lifestyles to adopt while pregnant.
It is in this regard that we should borrow a leaf from Save the Mothers International, who are currently training maternal health experts in public health who in Uganda are doing a tremendous job in helping the community understand the significance of ensuring the safety of pregnancy. Together we can do a lot.
Thierry Claudien, Kigali, Rwanda
STATE MINISTER Dr. Anitha Asiimwe said recently: “If pregnant mothers are asked to go to health facilities and they don’t receive the services they are promised, then they are being discouraged...” – you are so correct.
Quality in the health sector is a big issue and has not been addressed adequately over the last couple of years. It is really refreshing to hear a health sector leader speak so candidly about these issues and what needs to be fixed.
This is quite a change from the usual syndrome of “everything is great” that we have been accustomed to. Thank you.
Aline, Kigali, Rwanda
Reactions to the story, “Few pregnant women seek maternal health services – minister”, (The New Times, July 26)