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Above: Waiting to see a doctor at Nemba Hospital, Rwanda. (Kate Holt/Jhpiego)

USAID Celebrates Progress on Maternal and Child Survival in Rwanda

Posted November 24, 2015


Amber Lucero-Dwyer
Outreach and Communications Officer
Phone: 078-830-7159

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the foreign assistance agency of the United States Government. USAID supports $150 million of development assistance annually to Rwanda, with programs in health, economic development, education, and democracy and governance.

Kigali — Rwanda has made remarkable progress in lowering maternal and child mortality over the past decade, demonstrating the highest improvement rates among the 75 countries where more than 95% of maternal and child deaths occur. On Friday, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the Ministry of Health, partners, and beneficiaries, celebrated the progress on Maternal and Child Survival in Rwanda, by recognizing the contributions of the closing USAID funded Rwanda Family Health Project (2012-2015), and announcing the launch of the new $43 million Maternal
and Child Survival Program (2015-2018).

The recently released results of the 2014-2015 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey confirm that Rwanda has surpassed its targets for Millennium Development Goals 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health). Between 1990 and 2015, the country reduced the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds and achieved an extraordinary 85% decline in maternal mortality. This significant progress is the result of the Government of Rwanda’s commitment and partnership with donors like USAID to increase the availability and quality of services that support maternal, newborn, and child health. Despite this impressive progress , however, maternal and child health remains a major national concern.

To support the Government of Rwanda’s efforts, and to advance USAID’s global health priority of ending preventable child and maternal deaths, USAID/Rwanda launched the Rwanda Family Health Project (RFHP) in 2012 to improve the capacity of Rwandan health institutions to deliver high-quality, comprehensive health services. The project supported health facilities to counsel and test over 1,909,750 clients for HIV/AIDS across 17 districts, provided antiretroviral treatment to up to 38,000 people living with HIV each year; provided family planning methods to 396,264 new users; and trained 10,651 community health workers in malaria case management. Additionally, RFHP has supported the operationalization of District Health Management Teams, which provide oversight and ensure quality standards of service delivery.

As RFHP ends its work this year, USAID is launching the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), a three-and-a-half-year project designed to build upon Rwanda’s successes by supporting the expansion of high-impact and sustainable health interventions that improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health. “The United States is committed to continuing our strong partnership with Rwanda to reach mothers and  children with high-impact health interventions to achieve the core goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths , ” said Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, the United States Ambassador to Rwanda.

“Through this new program, we will work to increase the coverage and effective utilization of these interventions,” said Peter A. Malnak, Mission Director of USAID/Rwanda. “We will also focus on strengthening the capacity of our partners and the Rwandan health systems to successfully deliver these interventions.”

Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD) is USAID’s global health priority to accelerate the rate of progress in reducing preventable mortality and improving the health of mothers and children. Rwanda is one of USAID’s 24 priority countries for EPCMD.

For more information, read “New Rwf32 billion scheme to promote maternal, child health” from Rwanda’s leading English daily news.

Maternal and Child Survival Program