In a bid to further contribute to Rwanda’s access to health care services, Society for Family health Rwanda (SFH) has signed a partnership agreement with Japan Embassy in Rwanda to build a Second Generation Health Post in Ruhinga cell , Nyabimata sector in Nyaruguru district, a move that will see people accessing health services close to them.
The health post which will be among other improved health posts that SFH has constructed across the country, will be able to close the distance people have been travelling to access services at Nyabimata health centre and Munini district hospital, putting Rwanda close to achieving SDG’s universal access to health services for all goal.
“The services that will be provided by this health posts have not been provided in our health posts in the district, this is another indication that we will achieve our health indicator targets,” said Janvier GASHEMA, the Acting Mayor Nyaruguru district during the signing ceremony held at district Office on Friday, 15.
The partnership which will see Nyaruguru district as the beneficiary is under the framework of Japan’s Grant Assistance for grassroots Human Security Project GGP is Japan’ 20 year assistance program in Rwanda that has seen the country support Rwanda in areas of heath, water and education and the signing for the partnership with SFH Rwanda becomes its 101th project, will providing financial support to build the SGHP which is expected to be complemented before the end of this year.
“The services that will be provided by this health posts have not been provided in our health posts in the district, this is another indication that we will achieve our health indicator targets,” said Acting Mayor GASHEMA.
The Acting Mayor says that Ruhinga cell does not have any health post and is optimistic that the second generation health post will help the district address challenges of high rate of dental problems in the area.
“We have been having a challenge of treatment of dental diseases in this area,” he further says adding that SFH’s contribution towards construction of health posts is helping the district close the health gap. Currently, the district has a shortage of 20 health posts; it has one hospital, 16 health centres and 33 health posts and two which are yet to be completed.
Accordingly, for a person in Ruhinga cell to access Nyabimata health centre, they have to spend over 5,000FRW and 7,000FRW to Munini district hospital or walk 3 hours and 5 hours respectively, with this Health Post cutting it down to 30 minutes walk able distance.
“I learned that Ruhinga does not have a health post and a nearest health post is two and half hours away on foot, this is absolutely heartbreaking for me, as a mother of two,” said Ms Yukako Ochi, Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan who represented the Embassy.
Yukako says that funding of the second-generation health post is part of its commitment to support the government of Rwanda to further achieve its development agenda especially health, adding that Rwanda has showing tremendous steps towards implementation of universal health access driven by smart health initiative.
“Working with Rwandan government in areas of health is our priority…. Our working relations with Rwanda are very important for us in our diplomacy for Africa,” she said She further pledged continued efforts by the government of Japan to support and work with people at grassroots level in collaboration with government of Rwanda as well as NGOs.
“We are happy to be partnering with the district of Nyaruguru to implement President Kagame’s goal to have every Rwandan access health services in walkable distance,” said Manasseh GIHANA Wandera, Executive Director, SFH Rwanda.
He hailed the Embassy of Japan for its commitment to fund the project and retaliated that SFH will ensure that the project is executed in the specified time with its engineers working closely with the district as well as the local community.
The health post will provide special services such as maternity, laboratory services, Dental and ophthalmology which are mainly provided at a heath centre or district hospital which makes it difficult for people in Ruhinga, access these services especially pregnant mothers due to its mountainous terrain.
“From our previous experience where we placed second generation health posts, we have seen mothers able to go for antenatal care and giving birth from a health facility,” GIHANA said.
Accordingly, Rwanda has made considerable milestones towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by ensuring availability of healthcare services for all through financial protection mechanisms and equitable distribution of health facilities at grassroots.
“We are optimistic that the SGHP to be established will contribute to the improved access to essential health services for community members of Ruhinga cell which will later contribute to improved health outcome of community members of Ruhinga cell,’ added GIHANA.
SFH Rwanda continues to partner with different funders to establish more Health Posts. Currently, there other 15 SGHPs that is under construction in Nyaruguru, Kirehe, Burera, Musanze and Rubavu Districts.
With the support of different partners, 1,117 Health Hosts (HPs) have been established in underserved communities (remote areas) in Rwanda.
Among these, SFH Rwanda with its partners has constructed and equipped 179 health posts countrywide, 21 of these health posts were upgraded to Second-Generation Health Posts (SGHPs) that offer special services such as maternity, laboratory services, Dental and ophthalmology.
Through a Public Private Community Partnership (PPP) model, SFH has so far contructed 179 Health posts in Bugesera, Rwamagana, Kirehe, Gatsibo, Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Burera, Gakenke, Gasabo, Nyanza, Gisagara, Nyaruguru.