20 March 2017

Rwanda: Minister Gashumba Calls for More Decentralisation of Health Services

Health minister Diane Gashumba has challenged all stakeholders to work together to construct more health posts among other interventions that will help get health services closer to the citizens.

Dr Gashumba was speaking in Rukomo Sector, Gicumbi District, on Saturday at the closing ceremony of the Health Week, a campaign that sought to deliver an integrated package of medical services and

sensitisation through outreaches carried out by medics and in different parts of the country.

The Health Week focused on improving maternal and child health, fight against malaria, HIV, non-communicable diseases and malnutrition in communities.

It also included blood donation, immunisation, giving Vitamin A to children aged six months to five years, deworming children below 15, and prevention of gender-based violence.

Addressing the citizens, community leaders, health workers, partners among others that attended the official closure of the campaign, Gashumba expressed gratitude for the work done during the week but called for more efforts, especially for local governments to set up more new health posts.

"I want to call upon health workers to continue fulfilling their social contract by getting closer to the citizens. There are citizens who walk three hours to reach a health centre; therefore, I ask you to partner with community health workers to reach everyone. I also ask districts to continue building more health posts to bring them at least to the cell level. This will help us get closer to the citizens," she said.

Dr Gashumba also urged families to make hygiene a culture, which she said was one sure way of keeping their families healthy, calling upon them to buy premiums for the community based insurance, Mutuelle de Sante.

"We don't want any Rwandan to be killed by malaria again because you are given free mosquito nets, medicine is always available and the government has even committed to give to the first and second level of Ubudehe free malaria drugs," she said.

The closing ceremony also involved awarding of certificates to different hospitals for the exemplary work done during the week, giving out nutritious flour to little children, giving uniforms, badges and tool kits to community health workers to help them in their work.

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