TODAY the Ministry of Health is launching a three-day countrywide campaign to sensitise the population on critical health issues.
The exercise will focus on malaria, malnutrition, birth control, measles, rubella and cervical cancer, among others. The drive is critical as it targets the most vulnerable groups like mothers, pregnant women, and children under five years of age.
This makes the campaign appropriate and its impact will be far reaching, especially if it reaches the grassroots where ignorance on health issues is more pronounced than in the urban areas. Prevention is better than cure and early detection of disease ensures higher chances of successful treatment.
The health status of any country’s population has effects its national development. With an un-healthy population, a country’s sustainable development goals cannot be easily achieved.
And besides, the cost of prevention through sensitisation is cheaper than treatment.
For example, Rwanda lost an estimated Rwf503.6bn in 2012 as a result of child under-nutrition according to the Cost of Hunger Report released last month at the Food and Nutrition Summit held in Kigali.
Certainly this is a high cost on the country that could be drastically cut down if the population is sensitised on the importance of proper nutrition.
Its high time homes, especially in the countryside, are equipped with knowledge to ensure proper basic nutrition, particularly among children.
The prevention of under-nutrition and related illnesses is critical as treating a severely underweight child is often more costly than the monetary value required to prevent under-nutrition. These costs generate a significant burden, not just to the health sector but to society as whole.