In the context of sub-Saharan African countries where the quality of medical services is often questionable, Rwanda stands out due to substantial government investments in healthcare infrastructure. The NST1, a seven-year program aimed at accelerating sustainable development, specifically addresses the enhancement of health services in Rwanda.
According to the 2022 census, the average life expectancy for Rwandans has risen to 69 years, attributed to an improving standard of living and effective healthcare. In 2023, the inauguration of the BioNTech vaccine manufacturing plant marked a milestone, producing vaccines for Covid-19, malaria, and other diseases. The Ministry of Health is actively working to boost the annual number of graduates from medical, nursing, and midwifery schools, aiming to increase it from 2,000 to 8,000.
During the 19th National Dialogue Council held on January 23-24, 2024, Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente highlighted the construction of six new hospitals since 2017, including Gatunda, Gatonde, Munini, and Nyabikenke. Additionally, existing hospitals like Byumba and Nyarugenge have been renovated. This builds upon the existing 52 hospitals and includes the establishment of 12 new health centers, supplementing the existing 495.
Prime Minister Ngirente emphasized the expansion of health posts from 473 in 2017 to 1252, aiming to facilitate easier access for those seeking treatment for less serious conditions. The improved medical infrastructure has led to a 93% rate of mothers giving birth in a medical facility, a significant increase attributed to enhanced infrastructure and healthcare services.
Efforts to combat malaria include providing mosquito nets to families, encouraging their use, and employing insecticides in homes. Drone technology has been utilized to control the spread of the disease. Prime Minister Ngirente reported a substantial reduction in malaria deaths, from 427 in 2017 to only 35, expressing the aspiration to achieve zero malaria deaths.
Looking forward, the government plans to further increase the number of health centers, introduce specialized services for cancer and mental illness treatment, and intensify the fight against epidemic diseases. Notably, the construction of the first maternity hospital in Kabgayi and the development of Kigali Health City, featuring projects such as IRCAD Africa, align with Rwanda’s vision of becoming a multi-service hub, integrating advanced medical technologies.