The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: World Vision Launches Five Year Health Campaign

A five year health campaign aimed at reducing infant mortality has been launched by World Vision Rwanda.

This is part of the orgainsation's global advocacy campaign aimed at reducing the preventable deaths of children under five dubbed "Child Health Now Campaign".

The campaign which will start in four districts of Kayonza, Gatsibo, Karongi and Rutsiro, will see various activities carried out in line with advocacy and encouraging stakeholders to put in place mechanisms of fighting preventable diseases against children.

At least $300,000 has been earmarked for this campaign.

Speaking during the launch in Rutsiro district, the Country Director of World Vision, George Gitau, said that the initiative will also involve parents to effectively take part in preventing these diseases.

"In addition to creating access to medical services from even the most vulnerable children, we must also acknowledge that parents must take responsibility in not only reports to health community workers, but also feeding the children well to avoid diseases that come as a result of poor feeding," Gitau said. He explained that among other factors, being reluctant to report or take children for treatment has resulted into preventable diseases claiming lives of children.

"The government's achievement of reducing under-five mortality rate from 156 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 54 deaths is job well done, but we still believe that with combined efforts, even these 54 children can still have a life," Gitau said.

The most killer diseases of children under 5 years of age include Malaria, Diarrhoea and Pneumonia.

The government has now managed to provide vaccination for these diseases.

As part of the organisation's efforts to further increase access to medical services in the rural Rwanda, it built a health centre in Mushati Sector, which it officially opened last week.

Rutsiro District Mayor, Gaspard Byukusenge, commended the initiative calling upon residents to make good use of the health centre, as well as embracing Mutuelle de Santé health insurance, saying that this will play a vital role in keeping their families and children healthy.

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