Rwanda upgrades local health posts to improve access to health services

UNICEF is working with partners to support the Government of Rwanda in its efforts to improve the quality and access to primary health care services and achieve Universal Health Coverage.

By Pamela Mudakikwa
 Second-Generation Health posts (SGHP) in Nyaruguru District
UNICEF/UN0600881/Rudakubana
04 March 2022

In a bid to improve access to quality primary health care (PHC) services in various parts of Rwanda, UNICEF has initiated a partnership with the Government of Rwanda and the Society for Family Health (SFH) to establish two Second-Generation Health posts (SGHP) in Nyaruguru District, to contribute to the Government’s efforts towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The Mishungero Second Generation Health Post (SGHP) has been completed and is nearly functional.
UNICEF/UN0600882/Rudakubana
The Mishungero SGHP has been completed and is nearly functional. Soon, it will provide upgraded health services including laboratory testing, maternity dental and ophthalmology consultations and access to an in-house pharmacy. The SGHPs are expected to solve the issue of limited access to improved health services faced by community members in Mishungero and Nyabimata due to long distances.
Sebaganwa Modeste, a resident of Mishungero Cell expressed his gratitude for the newly built SGHP near his place.
UNICEF/UN0600875/Rudakubana
Sebaganwa Modeste, a resident of Mishungero Cell expressed his gratitude for the newly built SGHP near his place. “I used to walk for almost three hours to get to the Health Center, it was a very long journey. Sometimes I could spend the whole day there because there were many other patients, and for that I was not able to do any other work at home. I am happy that from now on I will get quality treatment for my teeth within 30 minutes of walking distance,” he noted.
Uwambajimana Violette, a mother of two, says that having a SGHP that provides a variety of health services will be beneficial for children and their families.
UNICEF/UN0600873/Rudakubana
Uwambajimana Violette, a mother of two, says that having a SGHP that provides a variety of health services will be beneficial for children and their families. “It was really hard for pregnant women to travel long distance to get to the health center because there were no maternity services nearby. Some could give birth on the way, while other would not make it to the hospital. But now with Mishungero Health Post, which will have a maternity ward among other services, it is going to be easier for us,” she stated.
Nyirakamana Marie Claire, Head of the Nyabimata Health Center says that the establishment of the Second Generation Health Post in different cells will contribute to improving the quality of life, health and wellbeing of the neighbouring population.
UNICEF/UN0600873/Rudakubana
Nyirakamana Marie Claire, Head of the Nyabimata Health Center says that the establishment of the Second Generation Health Post in different cells will contribute to improving the quality of life, health and wellbeing of the neighbouring population. “These upgraded health posts will reduce the workload at higher levels of care, such as health centers and district hospitals. Patients will be able to get most of the health services near their homes and those who will reach out to the hospitals will receive better services," she mentioned.
Partial operationalization of Mishungero SGHP began in October 2021, with consultation and family planning services. Since then, at least 30 patients per day receive both services respectively.
UNICEF/UN0600880/Rudakubana
Partial operationalization of Mishungero SGHP began in October 2021, with consultation and family planning services. Since then, at least 30 patients per day receive both services respectively. When fully functional, Mishungero SGHP will be able to provide a wide and improved range of high impact primary health services to women, children and adolescents in that area. The challenge of travelling long distance to the health centers will be addressed.
Managers and nurses who will provide health services at these SGHP are participating in an intensive training organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health through the Rwanda Biomedical Center prior to the operationalization of the SGHP.
UNICEF/2021
Managers and nurses who will provide health services at these SGHP are participating in an intensive training organized in partnership with the Ministry of Health through the Rwanda Biomedical Center prior to the operationalization of the SGHP. It is expected that the completed Mishungero SGHP will be officially launched in March 2022.
The UNICEF Health Specialist, Dr. Manzi Emmanuel indicated that Rwanda places SGHPs among top priorities to improve quality and continuity of primary health care services.
UNICEF/2021
The UNICEF Health Specialist, Dr. Manzi Emmanuel indicated that Rwanda places SGHPs among top priorities to improve quality and continuity of primary health care services. Of the 700 SGHPs to be constructed by the end of 2024, 22 have been set up as February 2022. Investment in expansion of second-generation health posts in Rwanda would indeed contribute in accelerating access to quality maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health care services among most vulnerable communities and achieving universal health coverage.