The business day; https://businessday.ng/ on 07 November 2019 released an article entitled; “The danger of an unchallenged myth: The lie that is Rwandan President Paul Kagame” by David Hundeyin. The article sorely mischaracterizes the reality of Rwanda’s health sector and development in general as well as Rwanda’s journey to recovery by publishing fake news. In his article he makes a comparison of Rwanda and Nigeria as if Rwanda is in competition with Nigeria? I believe that RWANDA is in competition with herself to provide the best health services possible beside the best for Nigeria.
It has become almost a common practice for some journalists who choose to write negatively about Rwanda to use factious figures either to seek attention or serve interests of those that feed them on wrong information.
In David Hundeyin article that appeared at the Business day , by comparing Rwanda and Nigeria in terms of health, development he makes weird assertions and forgets that Rwanda has just recovered from genocide that nearly wiped it’s people out and the few infrastructure that existed by the time. Today they’ve rewritten their rich heritage and they are becoming an amiable country. They should be the ones to take care of their issues without interference from the worse offs.
Rwanda recovered from a terrible genocide against the Tutsi and gone on to get so many things right from 1994 till date- health insurance, education, transport, ease of doing Business, electricity, road network, town planning, cleanliness, unity and much more.
David Hundeyin in his article tried to tackle a sect in all those issues by taking the health sector and compared doctor per number of people while evaluating the status of health sector in Rwanda. The methodology used and the way he analyzed his fake data is another issue of concern. Rwanda developed its own innovative healthcare system based on very effective community health workers reaching the last person in the most remote village.
It is evident that Rwanda’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of its citizens is stronger than ever. In contrast to the flawed argument in the article, investments being made in Rwanda’s health sector actually point to even better outcomes in the future.
It is on record that Rwanda’s national budget allocates more than 17% to the health sector, which exceeds the 15% recommended by the Abuja Declaration.
Subscription in Community-Based Health Insurance has increased to 85.2% in 2019 from 81.5% of the previous year meaning higher numbers of Rwandans accessing healthcare services. This was accompanied by a 16% increase in the budget for equipment and infrastructure. Rwanda has exceeded the WHO-recommended doctor/population ratio of 1/10,000, with one doctor per 8,592 people. National vaccination rate stands at 93% and new vaccines continue to be introduced as needed.
Innovations such as the high-speed distribution of blood products via drones are improving response to obstetrical emergencies, including post-partum haemorrhage, and this is expected to further improve health delivery, including reducing maternal and child deaths.
Research by WHO team has found out that Health centre teams carry out two to three outreach visits per year into communities to reach households and increase access to health services, including home-based management for malaria cases by trained health professionals.
David wrongly cites the number of Doctors per person indicating that as of today, for example, Rwanda has roughly one doctor per 15,600 people. To put that in perspective, Nigeria has roughly one doctor per 2,500 people, and it is widely accepted that this figure represents a healthcare emergency. The claim in the article that one medical Doctor per 15, 600 people is incorrect as he ignores that health services are also delivered at health centres . There is no set number of health personnel per hospital because staff numbers are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the workload of each health facility.
David in his article is attempting to convey a crisis where there is none. The fact is, improvements continue to be made in every area of Rwanda’s health sector in order to sustain good results and continue to make even more progress.
Rwanda’s performance in poverty reduction is unequivocally real. The positive trend is also corroborated by different measures of progress.
It is not surprising that the likes of journalist David Hundeyin are trying to dominate the narrative about African countries as a way to seek attention.