New campaign to slash infant mortality rate

World Vision-Rwanda, in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH), launched a programme to further reduce infant mortality.  

The international NGO has announced a contribution of $300,000 towards the cause. 

The three-year project will initially benefit four districts of Kayonza, Gatsibo, Karongi and Rutsiro.

George Gitau, World Vision-Rwanda Country Director, said that although Rwanda hit the target on child mortality rate as far as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG`s) is concerned, there was still need to reduce the rate further.

A report from UNICEF indicates that child mortality has been reduced to 54 deaths per 1000 children born annually from the previous 156 deaths per 1000 children.

“I am convinced that when we continue working together as development partners, child mortality rate can further be reduced and our target should be zero, as no single child is born to die before even celebrating the fifth anniversary,” Gitau said.

It is part of World Vision’s global advocacy campaign focused on reducing the preventable deaths of children under five dubbed “Child Health now campaign”.

It was also realised that mothers are committed to going for antenatal care but that some are still reluctant to give birth in hospitals.

 Only 19 per cent of pregnant mothers gave birth in hospitals in 2005, but atleast 69 per cent are now delivering from health facilities, according to the ministry.

The increase is attributed to the several interventions the government has put in place; calling on the population to take active participation in health related programmes.

Among other things, the government managed to provide vaccination against Malaria, Diarrhoea and Pneumonia which are the major killer diseases of children under 5 years of age.