“Life expectancy of Rwandans has improved” PM Murekezi
Kigali, on 5 April 2017
Life expectancy of Rwandans has improved from 49 years in 2000 to 66.7 years in 2015. This tremendous progress can only be reached by few countries in the world.
The statement was made by the Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi yesterday while addressing the Parliament, Both Chambers, on achievements registered in the health sector.
The Prime Minister said that improvement of life expectancy results from effective implementation of various health programs through increasing health care services and infrastructure.
“Maternal mortality rate has dropped from 476/100,000 to 210/100,000. The proportion of infants born in hospitals has increased to 90 per cent. The child mortality rate has decreased from 76/1000 to 50/1000. This was possible due to child and maternal immunization program coverage which has reached 99 per cent.” Prime Minister Murekezi said.
The Prime Minister further added that a lot of work has been done to take health care services closer to the population whereby at least three Community Health Workers are available at every village, which makes a total of 45,516 Community Health Workers countrywide.
These Community Health Workers provide services that include prevention and fight against communicable diseases and those caused by poor hygiene, treatment of malaria and other diseases caused by inadequate hygiene such as diarrhea and respiratory diseases, follow up on maternal and child health care, delivery of family planning services, follow up on child growth and consultation and treatment of malnutrition.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that health facilities have increased to the extent that there are 471 health posts at the Cell level, 499 Health Centers at the Sector level, 36 District Hospitals which provide intensive care and long-term care and 7 Referral Hospitals which provide tertiary care.
Speaking about services delivered to patients with chronic conditions, the Prime Minister Murekezi said,
“In a framework to help patients with chronic conditions to reduce inpatient hospital costs, family-based and palliative care program was launched in February 2017. About 210 youth including secondary school leavers have been trained to provide family-based and palliative care. This program has started in 100 Cells, in 9 Districts namely: Nyarugenge, Rwamagana, Ngoma, Rulindo, Ruhango, Huye, Karongi, Nyamasheke and Musanze, with the target of being scaled up in all Districts across the Country”.
As for infrastructure, the Prime Minister Murekezi said that hospitals have been constructed across the Country including Kinihira, Ruhango, Bushenge, Kirehe, Rutare, and Masaka Hospitals. This year, Shyira Hospital was constructed to replace the old one.
As far as health and medical practitioners are concerned, the Head of Government mentioned that Rwanda has 19,951 workers in the health sector including 14,482 health and medical workers including 1,089 General Practitioners, 303 Specialists, 10,795 Nurses, 752 Midwives and 1,543 Lab technicians.
Murekezi further noted that Rwanda’s physician-to-population ratio is 1/10,055 against 1/10,000 WHO standards; nurse-to-population ratio stands at 1/1,094 against 1/1,000 recommended by WHO; midwife-to-population ratio is 1/4,064 against 1/3,000 prescribed by WHO, laboratory technician-to-population is 1/7,653 against 1/5,000 recommended by WHO.
The Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015 in its Article 133 provides that on a quarterly basis, Prime Minister presents to the Parliament about the implementation of the Government programs.