Around 20 years ago, Rwanda was in a catastrophic state due to the Rwandan Civil War, 1994, which turned into a horrendous genocide resulting in approximately 1 million casualties. The Aftermath was even worse, with a huge spike in HIV, cholera, measles, polio, and tuberculosis cases with no help in sight. The lack of availability of healthcare professionals and facilities collapsed the already feeble healthcare system.
But over the years, the Republic of Rwanda, with the help of global authorities, has taken intelligent measures to develop a sustainable healthcare system.
Analysis Of Rwanda’s Healthcare Policy
The healthcare policy of Rwanda focuses on essential and life-saving services. Around 60% of the country’s population is below the poverty line and can not afford basic health services. Due to the absence of proper infrastructure, it used to take 95 minutes on average to reach the nearest healthcare facility. This walking time was reduced to 47 minutes in 2020, and the government further aims to reduce it to 25 minutes by 2024.
The decentralization of healthcare by the establishment of health camps in communities is an efficient approach to providing basic healthcare services. The patients requiring secondary and tertiary care are referred to central hospitals or specialist clinics. This also reduces the burden on central hospitals and helps to provide quality healthcare services.
The government of Rwanda is working closely with local and international organizations to develop a sustainable healthcare system. Under the visionary and persistent leadership of Paul Kagame, Rwanda has succeeded in introducing community health insurance and performance-based incentive programs for healthcare providers.
Organizations Involved In The Development Of Healthcare System In Rwanda
The Rwandan healthcare system is based on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a partnership with WHO. This program aims to provide fundamental preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and affordable palliative health aid of satisfactory quality.
Role Of Partners In Health (PIH)
PIH has contributed largely to stabilizing the state after the horrific genocide. Since 2005, this organization has established three district hospitals and several community health centers, employing professional healthcare providers. They also managed to make the society self-sufficient by providing them with skills, equipment, and knowledge of treatments.
Role Of Health Development Initiative (HDI)
HDI is a non-profit organization in Rwanda that strives for socio-economic and health equity in developing and underdeveloped countries. They work to promote sexual and reproductive health rights, community health, and the right to health without discrimination.
Other organizations such as UNICEF, USAid, and Health Builders have and still are significantly contributing to stabilizing the healthcare system in Rwanda by providing financial aid, training programs, and cost-effective initiatives.
The Future Of Healthcare In Rwanda
The future of the healthcare system in Rwanda appears bright. According to the World Economic Forum, Rwanda’s new Protection of Personal Data and Privacy Law has the potential to realize the use of AI in healthcare.
C4IR is an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning program of this forum that works with Babylon to enforce the health care principles. This technology enables Rwandans to get a consultation from a doctor or nurse via cell phone anywhere in the country.
This resilient state has picked itself up from a dreadful past. Today, it is known to have the best healthcare system in all of Africa. And after viewing the current achievements in healthcare, there’s no doubt that a well-established healthcare system would be the fate of this state in the near future.