Rwanda Secures Over Rwf150bn for Health Emergency Preparedness

(file photo).

The government is set to enhance its health emergency preparedness and response capabilities with a $120 million loan (approximately Rwf157 billion) from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's branch that supports low-income countries through grants and concessional or low-interest loans.

This initiative follows the passing of a law by Rwanda's lower chamber of Parliament on June 10, approving the ratification of the financing agreement between Rwanda and IDA.

The agreement, signed in Kigali on May 31, allocates $120 million for the Rwanda Health Emergency Preparedness, Preparation, Response, and Resilience Project using the Multiphase Programmatic Approach.

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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana informed lawmakers that the interest-free credit will be repaid over 40 years, starting after a 10-year grace period. He emphasised that the project's goal is to bolster Rwanda's preparedness and response to health emergencies.

Reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic that erupted in 2020, Ndagijimana stressed the importance of being ready for future health emergencies. He noted that the project aims to enhance existing capacities and build stronger resilience against potential epidemics.

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Key components of the project include the establishment of a modern laboratory equipped with necessary tools, a research center on epidemics, and an epidemic command center in Masaka District, designated as a medical hub in Kigali. The project also involves procuring ambulances and mobile clinics to provide health care directly in communities, reducing the need to transport patients to hospitals.

Ndagijimana highlighted that the project will improve the health sector's ability to detect and prevent epidemics early, in collaboration with other entities. It will also enhance care for infected individuals through advanced laboratory testing and appropriate treatment.

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As Rwanda implements this project, it will collaborate with regional countries undertaking similar initiatives to prevent the cross-border spread of epidemics.

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