Tag Archives: rwanda

Does Governance Help Achieve Universal Health Coverage?

I first heard about Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in 2010. At the time, I was working with a group of economists who had just returned Read More

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The Continuing Saga of Rwandan Poverty Data

via Ken Opalo, there is new analysis out of the 2014 Rwanda poverty numbers that contradicts official Government reports, finding that poverty actually rose between 2010 and 2014. Professor Filip Reyntjens made a similar argument at the time, which I disagreed with. This new (anonymous) analysis in the Review of African Political Economy supports the conclusion of Reyntjens, based on new analysis of the survey microdata (with commendably published stata code). The key difference seems to be that their analysis updates the poverty line based on prices reported in the survey microdata rather than using the official Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation.What I took away from this at the time was the apparent fragility of trend data on poverty that depends on consumption aggregates and price data. I also drafting a follow-up blogpost that for whatever reason never got posted, so here it is

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Sensitivity of measuring the progress in financial risk protection to survey design and its…

Publication date: April 2017 Source:Social Science & Medicine, Volume 178 Author(s): Chunling Lu, Kai Liu, Lingling Li, Yuhong Yang Reliable and comparable information on households with catastrophic health expenditure (HCHE) is crucial for monitoring and evaluating our progress towards achieving universal financial risk protection.

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Dr. Shyirambere: Cancer is No Longer a Death Sentence in Rwanda

Photos by Cecille Joan Avila / Partners In HealthDr. Cyprien Shyirambere, oncology program associate director, fills out paperwork after a child’s checkup at Butaro District Hospital in Butaro, Rwanda. Dr. Cyprien Shyirambere meets patients near the brink of death at the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in northern Rwanda.

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Participation in the Salzburg Global Seminar

This post was published the 15 December 2016 at the Salzburg Global Seminar


“In Rwanda, we were able to establish an equitable health sector by sharing the social capital equally. More than 90% of Rwandans have health insurance, and more than 93% of children are vaccinated against 11 antigens. We have universal access to HIV treatment, and the result of our TB treatment is among the best on earth.””This was only possible because we have built our health sector where health is not the only silo. We have taken other social determinants into account and built a health sector with the sector in charge of gender, local governance, and education. We have created a system of multi-stakeholders’ intervention in synergy and harmony, inside of a multi-sectoral approach.”Agnes Binagwaho, Professor University of Global Health Equity, explains how, as Minister of Health in Rwanda from 2011 to 2016, she was able to contribute to building an equitable health sector in Rwanda.

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Yale lauds human rights achievements of man accused of human rights abuses

Despite evidence of human rights abuses and funding rebels in neighboring countries, American universities continue to invite Rwandan President Paul Kagame to speak. Tonight he will deliver an address at Yale University, a decision met with immediate protest. “His invitation to Yale is akin to offering a high-level platform to Bashar al-Assad, Omar al-Bashir or

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Deutsche Welle Interview on Non-Communicable Diseases

June 10, 2016
Here, I am interviewed by Deutsche Welle, the German Broadcast Service for foreign countries, during the 2016 World Economic Forum, which was held in Kigali. This discussion was around the impact of non-communicable disease on development and the need to create health systems and sustainable partnerships to support the delivery of quality care. I share my perspective on how a multi-sectorial approach and teamwork is essential to reach each patient at the right time.
The full interview with all participants is available at:

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Model Mental Health Care in Rwanda

Photos by Bob Muhumuza / Partners In HealthHategekimana Bashar (left), members of his family, and Mental Health Social and Community Support Coordinator Sifa Dorcas (second from right) chat outside Bashar’s home in Rwanda in July. Bashar is one of 1,200 Rwandans being treated by PIH’s pioneering mental health team. Hategekimana Bashar first began suffering from hallucinations and paranoid delusions when he was 26 years old. Dismayed, his family watched his behavior change until he was unable to care for himself, let alone his farm or cherished livestock.

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Construction Begins on University in Rwanda

Zacharias Abubeker for UGHEDr. Peter Drobac (right), the executive director of University of Global Health Equity, shares architectural renderings of the campus with representatives of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Inshuti Mu Buzima, and MASS Design Group. Earlier this month, Partners In Health began construction on a 250-acre campus for the University of Global Health Equity. When complete in 2018, classrooms, administrative buildings, a library, and dorms will drape a picturesque hill in the Burera District of northern Rwanda. The structures, the first of two UGHE campuses planned in the region, will house thousands of students and medical professionals from around the world, teaching them not just how to treat patients, but how to build health care systems

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Taking Stock on Malaria in Rwanda

Published on June 15, 2016 in The New Times by Dean Karemera
Minister Binagwaho (L) consults with Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, the State Minister in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care, during the news conference in Kigali. (Nadege Imbabazi)
Rwandans have been urged to ensure that their homes and surroundings are kept clean at all times and clear bushes or stagnant water which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Health minister, made the call, yesterday, at a news conference at the ministry headquarters.A mother and her child sleep under a mosquito net. This is one of the methods to fight against malaria. (File)She warned that, due to the warm season ahead, malaria cases could shoot up again if caution is not undertaken by homes to supplement government efforts to ensure that no person dies of malaria again.“In the fight against malaria, we’ve realised that there’s a portion that is still not fully done, and that is the maintenance of sanitation in homes and our environment.An official from Rwanda Biomedical Center speaks to the media during press conference.The government can provide bed nets, train community health workers, offer medical insurance but if we ignore the simple things such as cleanliness in our homes and environment, we won’t succeed in the fight against malaria,” she said.The minister urged the public to seek quick medical attention whenever they fall sick and people without insurance cover to get it.She added that, in a research conducted two years ago, they found out that people without medical insurance accounted for more than 3 times the deaths resulting from malaria.“Most people who die from malaria are those without medical insurance because they fear seeking medical care without it. I urge them to get medical insurance because it’s likely that malaria is going to increase. We have trained community health workers to handle cases and they are fully equipped,” she added.
Minister Binagwaho speaks during the press conference in Kigali yesterday.During the implementation of the malaria contingency plan in highly affected areas, the ministry increased the number of effective long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINS), targeted indoor residual spraying and improved the levels of malaria and behavioural management and inspection of insecticides, drugs and malaria commodities.The number of houses sprayed stands at 453,320 representing 99 per cent in five out of eight highly affected districts.Also, 2.6 million LLINS have already been distributed and an additional 6 million will be distributed by the end of this year.
Journalists listen minister Binagwaho’s remarks during the press conference yesterday in Kigali. (Photos by Nadege Imbabazi)Malaria cases have significantly reduced from 2,456,091 last year to 1,353,861 cases this year.On the issue of bed nets that were once procured and later found not to be effective, the minister said they now conduct their own testing of bed nets even after the World Health Organisation has done its own testing.This, she said is to ensure that the bed nets are up to the standards as required by MOH.“Although government is employing different methods to fight against malaria, what is most important is that we embark on maintaining cleanliness in our houses and communities. Hygiene is very important in this fight,” she said.For inquiries on the above article, please contact editorial@newtimes.co.rw.

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American Medical Association Journal of Ethics feature on Rwanda’s Health Sector

In July of 2016 the AMA Journal of Ethics featured a podcast, which gives an accurate view of our current health sector. The link to the podcast is here:

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Child diarrhoea and nutritional status in rural Rwanda: a cross-sectional study to explore…

Objective To explore associations of environmental and demographic factors with diarrhoea and nutritional status among children in Rusizi district, Rwanda.

Posted in Diahrreal Disease, Infectious Disease, Journal Watch, Malnutrition & Obesity, Noncommunicable Disease, Women & Children | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Rwanda: Using Innovation through Drones to Save Lives

Rwanda: Using Innovation through Drones to Save Lives

Video produced by Zipline. 2016.

Africa: Govt Closer to Using Drones in Medical Supplies Delivery

Published on May 15, 2016 at 7:32 pm in All Africa by Julius Bizimungu Article retrieved from:http://allafrica.com/stories/201605160346.html

Zipline Inc, a California-based robotics firm Friday announced details of a partnership with Government to make on-demand deliveries of life-saving medical products using drones.
This follows a deal signed in February, between the government and the firm to build infrastructure for unmanned aerial system (UAS) to ensure efficient logistical transportation of medical supplies in the country.
Speaking during a press briefing, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, said that Rwanda is ready to receive the first delivery of drones.
“We have had a fruitful and a fun-filled week talking about the forth industrial revolution at the World Economic Forum (WEF). I think it’s very significant for people to know that what they might think will be achieved in future, is already here in Rwanda. We already have the technology that people think we will have in the future. Rwanda is ready to receive the network of drones, and I truly believe this is going to shape the future,” Nsengimana noted.
Often, essential health products don’t reach the people who urgently need them.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), millions of mothers and children die every year due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple, and affordable medical interventions.
However, in the developing world, access to these interventions is hampered by what is known as the last-mile problem: the inability to deliver needed medicine from a city to rural or remote locations due to lack of adequate transportation, communication and supply chain infrastructure.The distribution of blood products is particularly challenging given the strict temperature requirements and short shelf life. Africa has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the world, mainly due to post partum hemorrhaging, which makes access to lifesaving blood transfusions critically important for women across the continent.
In Rwanda, rural hospitals have struggled with supplies in the past due to their isolated locations. Most life-saving supplies are currently delivered via motorcycles. According to Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister for Health, the initiative is truly a life-saving technology. “We have established that if we manage to use this technology, it will be a life-saving initiative. There are a lot of advantages, but I’m also hopeful that as pioneers we learn by doing. Although, I can’t predict how many lives will be saved, even saving one life is crucial,” she said.
What Zipline is bringing
According to Keller Rinaudo, Zipline Chief Executive Officer, the company is working with the government of Rwanda to create a network of delivery drones that will ferry medical supplierding to the World Health Organisation (WHO), millions of mothers and children die every year due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple, and affordable medical interventions.
However, in the developing world, access to these interventions is hampered by what is known as the last-mile problem: the inability to deliver needed medicine from a city to rural or remote locations due to lack of adequate transportation, communication and supply chain infrastructure.The distribution of blood products is particularly challenging given the strict temperature requirements and short shelf life. Africa has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the world, mainly due to post partum hemorrhaging, which makes access to lifesaving blood transfusions critically important for women across the continent.
The network will have capacity to make 50 to 150 deliveries per day, using a fleet of 15 drones, each with twin electric motors and an almost eight-foot wingspan. The unmanned drones will use GPS to navigate, and will airdrop supplies before returning to the landing strip from which they were launched.
“The inability to deliver life-saving medicines to the people who need them the most causes millions of preventable deaths each year. Zipline will help solve that problem once and for all. We’ve built an instant delivery system for the world, allowing medicines and other products to be delivered on-demand and at a low-cost, anywhere,” said Rinaudo.
Starting July, the government will begin a public-private partnership with Zipline for the last-mile delivery of all blood products throughout the country. A team of Rwandan and American engineers will set up and operate Zipline’s first Hub in Muhanga District. From this Hub, Zipline will deliver life-saving blood to 21 facilities located in the Northern, Western, and Southern Provinces.Zipline plans to expand services to Eastern Province in early 2017, putting almost every one of Rwanda’s 11 million citizens within range of lifesaving medical product deliveries.
The partnership will strengthen ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Health to deliver a high standard of health care.

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Rwanda Army Joins Battle Against Malaria

Rwanda Army Joins Battle Against Malaria

Published on April 22, 2016 at 7:32 pm in KT Press by Patrick BigaboArticle retrieved from:http://ktpress.rw/2016/04/rwanda-army-joins-battle-against-malaria/

Health Workers prepare
to conduct indoor
residue spray in Gatsibo
district at the catchment
area of Ngarama

Rwanda’s Army has joined the fight against malaria that is increasingly claiming more people both in the country and in Africa.
The Military is currently engaging different players in the health sector to harmonise efforts against the killer disease. The Army is coming in to utilize its resources which includes, doctors, logistical muscle and the human resource distributed across the country.

The Ministry of Health is championing the campaign. A symposium was organised together with the military to define strategies and interventions that can be implemented at different levels of the health system.

The head of internal medicine at Rwanda Military Hospital, Lt. Col. Dr. Jules Kabahizi said at the symposium that the army is keen on contributing significantly to reduce malaria cases with a long term objective of eliminating the disease.

Health Minister Dr. Agnes Binagwaho said during a one-day Malaria symposium at Serena Hotel that, “am glad our army has joined the battle field. ”

“Malaria is a threat, malaria is a problem, and it’s not only for Rwanda alone but for the whole region and it is affecting even the economies,” she said.

According to Binagwaho, Rwanda had pushed malaria to the edge and “we had started the elimination phase but it’s increased ten times more.”

Statistics from the ministry of health indicate the country has managed to reduce incidence of malaria by 86%, Mobility by malaria by 87% while mortality was reduced by 74%.

Dr. Binagwaho said that mosquitoes are now able to fly between 4 to 22 kilometers a day and survive to up to a month and are able to fly higher altitudes. This implies they can now easily fly across borders.

“Now they have leant to fly high because of global warming, it’s no longer cold up there and in less than a month they can cover the country,” she noted.

The movement of mosquitoes facilitated by several factors makes it difficult for one country to lay strategies to eliminate Malaria and thus suggests joint strategies for regional governments.

Malaria experts said drug-resistant malaria is not spreading across eastern region, but is developing independently in isolated pockets.

For Dr. Binagwaho with this new knowledge on drug-resistant malaria, there is need for regional member states to collaborate on a new strategy for combating the potentially fatal parasite.

Prof Zulu Prenji, chair-pathology in Aga Khan university Hospital told KTPress that Malaria fight needs political support. He explained that in countries where there are problems such as corruption, the fight becomes challenged.

Dr. Olushayo Olu, World Health Organisation Representative in Rwanda says despite remarkable increase in malaria cases, countries still have room to eliminate Malaria deaths through early detection and prevention.

Meanwhile, in a rare breakthrough, an international team of scientists has discovered that a mutation that makes parasites resistant to a key anti-malarial drug winds up killing them.

“The resistant parasites die before they can infect another person,” said Christopher D. Goodman of the University of Melbourne, a member of the research team.

Minister of Health
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho
and WHO country
Dr Olushayo Olu
chat after the

Read more at KT Press: http://ktpress.rw/2016/04/rwanda-army-joins-battle-against-malaria/

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