Rwanda’s health sector is a typical example of what well designed and implemented government policies can achieve.
Many countries also put in place what might at first seem to be foolproof policies but fall wayward for lack of political goodwill to see them through.
The many initiatives to relieve the population of the scourge of preventable diseases would not have succeeded without involving the population, the premier beneficiaries.
One of the most successful policies was the sensitization of the population on the benefits of affordable community health insurance, Mutuelle de santé, with different categories of people catered for. The most vulnerable are even taken under the wings by members of the community so that no one is left out.
The Rwandan model that in just a spate of about five years has managed to reduce the maternal mortality rate from 1070 out of 100,000 live births to just 487, has attracted other countries’ attention. Now member countries of the East African Community want to adopt a harmonized version of the policy and will certainly learn a lot from the Rwandan .
That is the true spirit of regional cooperation and integration; best practices and skills are shared across the board.
As the region moves to consolidate its aspirations of becoming an economic hub, having a healthy population is vital in increasing productivity. It is everyone’s hope that the idea to harmonise health insurance for east Africans will not remain just that; an idea, but should be pursued vigorously.