Rwanda has remarkably improved its health programs and could be considered as a case study in achieving global public health outcomes; The Global Health 2035 report says.
According to the report, Rwanda has achieved the fastest decline in child mortality in recorded history and international health experts refer to it as the ‘Rwandan miracle’. They say it is unique and impossible for other nations to replicate.
However, the experts maintain that Rwanda’s success is “a ‘black box’ case with few lessons for others, according to Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister for Health in Rwanda, and Scott K.W on improving the world’s health through the post-2015 development agenda.
Despite the challenges in pushing health higher up their domestic agenda, the report notes that some countries have overcome such obstacles making extraordinary progress in health. Rwanda is seen as a contemporary example of a “country that copes.”
The report shows that as part of sustainable development goals in health, a combination of increased domestic health investments by both low and middle income countries and a realignment of donor priorities, the international health community could achieve a “grand convergence” in global health by 2035.
Grand convergence refers to a reduction in avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels.
Meanwhile, despite setbacks in Rwanda’s communal health insurance ‘Mutuelle de Sante’, the program has won global credit among home grown health policies that have enabled Rwandans to improve access to health services; covering all citizens from all social classes.
However, there has been a major drop in subscriptions which has left hospitals pushing to recover Rwf13bn.
Citizens contributions vary between Rwf3, 000 and Rwf 7,000 depending on Ubudehe categorization.
Last month, government kicked off a Health insurance awareness campaign mobilising more citizens to subscribe.
In a bid to cut down debts owed to hospitals, government has merged Mutuelle de Sante program with Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB).
The Prime Minister, Anastase Murekezi says that government has pledged to pay contributions of 23% for vulnerable citizens that cannot afford to pay for themselves.
Global Health 2035 Position
The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health (CIH), which also led the writing of the Global Health 2035 report, says;
Those equity agendas should drive the post-2015 goals. Achieving global health equity by ending the massive disparities in deaths from infectious, maternal, and child conditions between rich and poor countries is at the heart of the grand convergence agenda.
Achieving convergence is impossible unless we also pay attention to inequities within countries. This means that achieving grand convergence will require focused attention not only on LICs but also on “lower income groups in rural sub regions of middle-income countries.”
Many countries have sought technical assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO) in working towards UHC, and Dr. Binagwaho and Scott remind these countries that as they increase service coverage, they must also pay attention to quality.
Third, Binagwaho and Scott4 call for nations to build their own research capacity so that health policies can be informed by locally generated, locally relevant evidence
The authors of the report, (comprised of international collaboration of economists and health experts) also argue that monitoring progress towards the post-2015 goals will require a new era of improved collaborations between multilateral agencies and “the countries that are working to achieve improvements in health within their nation and across the world.