Neonatal and maternal mortality rates could decrease significantly in Rwanda thanks to a new USAID-funded project, Ingobyi Project.
The Rwf42 billion investment is expected to help the country achieve its goals of preserving life by cutting down infant and maternal mortality rates as well as eradicating malaria, according to the Ministry of Health.
The project will operate in 20 districts countrywide.
It comes to supplement another project MCSP (Maternal Child Survival Program) a project that has been working to reduce preventable child, neonatal and maternal mortality in 10 districts of Rwanda.
When officially launching the project Monday at Serena Hotel in Kigali, Health Minister Dr Diane Gashumba said that the first project-MCSP- provided adequate training opportunities at work rather than leaving work to attend the trainings in hotels. This project also influenced the rate of family planning participation at 49% thanks to assisting mothers who want contraception as soon as they give birth.
She said that the country will earn more from Ingobyi project regarding its goals of preserving the life of a mother and the baby.
“What we expect from Ingobyi is to start from the point at which others have been performing, and where we have been in partnership with MCSP. We expect them to continue from there and take more steps further to achieve our goals of reducing infant and maternal mortality rates.” she said.
Moreover, Minister Gashumba said that they expect Ingobyi to operate in a special way to be able to spend the available budget efficiently. She says they want to work with the project in training health centres personnel online (E-Learning).
“We don’t want to waste the budget by getting health workers out of their working places to hotels or anywhere else they may be trained.”, She added.
She further said that Ingobyi is also expected to put more efforts in testing pregnant women to offer them a chance to give birth to healthy children because, she says, numbers are still low. The project will also continue family planning program and malaria eradication.
Adano Ummuro, Ingobyi Project Director in Rwanda said that in implementing this project, they will focus on areas where there are still problems in health. She said they will use figures and operate towards achieving the main goals of the country.
Some of the nurses and midwives who worked with MSCP which is being replaced by Ingobyi have manifested that they have gained more understanding in their daily job of caring for maternal and infant lives.
Vestine Uwiragiye, a midwife and advisor at Rukoma Hospital in Kamonyi District said that she received different trainings in 2016 about the health of an infant and the mother, and so she went to train others in turn.
“These trainings have been really useful because we were able to raise the level of maternal and infant life preservation. Those who work in health centres became confident enough. There are some things that they wouldn’t do and some medicines that they would not administer.” She said.
She added that an expecting mother would arrive at the hospital on the brink of death, but so far they are proud that, at least, a parent can be assisted as much as possible at the health centre.
Meanwhile, Ingobyi project is also expected to train youth on human reproduction as well as providing them with decent health services.