Rwanda Biomedical Centre and UNICEF continue their strong commitment to supplying health facilities with life-saving equipment for mothers and children

10 November 2023
People posing for a group photo
UNICEF/2023/Iyakaremye
A moment of shared dedication: UNICEF and RBC staff unite in a photo, marking the handover of health facilities and life-saving equipment, a powerful step toward improving maternal and child healthcare.

KIGALI, 10 November 2023 – As part of an ongoing partnership, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre received life-saving supplies and equipment for maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition services worth US$ 5 million from UNICEF.

Eighty (80) Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines worth nearly US$300,000 have been handed over to the Rwanda Biomedical Centre for distribution to neonatal and paediatric wards across the country.

CPAP is a proven, cost-effective respiratory intervention that can reduce the risk of death in premature babies by nearly 50 percent, shorten hospital stays and reduce the need for referrals.

Other life-saving equipment for newborns and mothers to support safe childbirth and equip neonatal units include: incubators, radiant warmers, oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, phototherapy lamps, infusion pumps, CTG machines, fetal heart rate monitors and ultrasound machines.

Prof Dr Claude Muvunyi, Director General of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said: "Respiratory problems are a major concern, with birth asphyxia and prematurity contributing to most neonatal deaths, and acute respiratory infections such as pneumonia among the leading causes of death in infants and children under five. We are grateful to UNICEF as the equipment they have donated is a boost in our efforts to prevent neonatal deaths".

Since 2021, UNICEF has equipped all 513 health centres and 48 hospitals, as well as 21,568 community health workers, with life-saving supplies and equipment for maternal, newborn, child health, and nutritional services. As a result, an estimated 350,000 mothers and 1.5 million children have benefitted annually from improved health services over the last three years.

Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF Representative in Rwanda, said: "UNICEF is delighted to continue our partnership with Rwanda by donating these supplies to improve the lives, growth and development of mothers, newborns and children. A nation has a bright future when all its children are healthier. We thank all our donors for enabling us to provide these supplies”.

Previously, UNICEF has been involved in national efforts to ensure proper screening of children for malnutrition and has also been active in strengthening emergency preparedness and response by providing equipment to laboratories across the country.

The donation of these life-saving medical supplies and equipment was made possible by several of UNICEF's partners and donors. We are very grateful to the Government of Japan, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Nutrition International, the United States Agency for International Development, the Norwegian Development Cooperation Agency, private sector donations through UNICEF Switzerland and UNICEF Finland, the Government of Canada and GAVI.

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Notes to editors:

About Rwanda Biomedical Centre

Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) is the nation's central health implementation agency.

RBC was established in 2011 through a merger of fourteen key health institutions. RBC strives to improve the health of the Rwandan population by providing high quality, affordable and sustainable health care services. This is accomplished through the implementation of preventative, rehabilitative, and curative health interventions.

RBC conducts scientific research, provides diagnostics services, and implements innovative health interventions to protect the nation against diseases and other health threats.

Follow RBC on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr

For more information, please contact:

Mr Julien M. Niyingabira, Health Communications Division Manager, RBC Tel: +250 788 606 072, Julien.niyingabira@rbc.gov.rw

 

Media contacts

Nidhi Joshi
Chief of Communications, Advocacy and Partnerships
UNICEF Rwanda
Tel: +250 788 301 419

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Rwanda, visit www.unicef.org/rwanda.

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