decades after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda - when 1 million Rwandans were killed
and another 2 million were displaced, the country has become an incredible
health success story according to an analysis by American Health Experts.
Paul E. Famer, a founder member of Partners of Health - published an article
about the current health scene in Rwanda. In 1994, 78% of the population was
below poverty line and presently it has 45% below poverty line. Almost 99% of
primary school age children attend school.
number of people treated for AIDS is 108,000 from zero, ten years back. Many
doctors had died in the 1994 genocide and many more had fled the country, so
now there are only 625 doctors in public hospitals to care for a population of
above 11 million. Though there are 8,000 nurses and 45,000 health care workers,
to take care of malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and family planning prenatal care
and childhood vaccines.
Western donors help with all this. Due
to health care workers - elected by the state, the country has had success in
curing tuberculosis and treating AIDS patients with antiretroviral drugs. 98%
of Rwandans have health insurance, as annual premiums are small - they are
subsidized by donors. Mosquito nets and immunizations are free.
country has built a national system of computerized records and gets reports
from villages by cell phone messages. The
maternal mortality rate has decreased by 60% since 2000 and infant deaths have
reduced by 70%. "If these gains can be sustained," Dr. Farmer wrote, "Rwanda will
be the only country in the region on track to meet each of the health-related
Millennium Development Goals by 2015."
Though Foreign aid does help, the
national government focused on the cause of disease and went all out to
(IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Donald McNeil Jr., Feb