A Bracelet With A Plan: Healthcare in Rwanda

Colleen Napolitano

Posted on August 13 2013

A Bracelet With A Plan: Healthcare in Rwanda

With the death of one million people, a quarter of a million women raped, and 70% of women contracting HIV/AIDS during the Rwandan Genocide, nobody thought that less than 20 years later this small country would become a model for their neighboring countries (and the world for that matter.) But with the help of the Ministry of Health, who has worked with Partners in Health and their Rwandan sister organization Inshuti Mu Buzima, Rwanda will be the only country in the region to meet all of the health-related Millennium Development Goals, set by the United Nations by 2015.

Life expectancy has gone from age 28 in 1994 to 56 in 2012... a giant 28 year increase!  They have raised the number of HIV+ patients getting treatment with an astounding 78% decline in HIV related deaths but most importantly thanks to Rwanda’s national health insurance program 90.6% of the population has a healthcare plan.

Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world, yet the greatest paradox is that this small country in the heart of Africa ensures more of its citizens healthcare than the world's richest countries. As reported by The New York Times, the Rwandan Health Ministry Official said, "Rwanda can offer the United States one lesson about health insurance: Solidarity — you cannot feel happy as a society if you don’t organize yourself so that people won’t die of poverty.”

The Ministry of Health has teamed up with a group of 23 top United States healthcare institutions including Yale School of Medicine, Columbia University, Harvard Medical School and Duke University School of Medicine. Full time faculty from these institutions are partnering and mentoring Rwandan faculty and students. The program intends to train over 550 medical specialists, upgrade the skills of over 5,000 nurses and introduce formalized training in health management and dentistry with hopes that Rwanda will be positioned to sustain the improved health workforce on its own without foreign aid.

Join us in celebrating that one SAME SKY Glass Bead bracelet that buys an HIV+ artisan in Rwanda healthcare for a year. 


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