HE Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda
“We cannot afford to see a big part of our population stunted when we have the means to prevent it. This is out of own carelessness and to an extent self-inflicted. HE Paul Kagame said. I tell all leaders that we have to pay attention to this, to eradicate it because we have the tools. No one enjoys to see our children stunted yet we have the ability. I politely warn you that those who have the responsibility to do something-pull up your socks” HE President Paul Kagame added.
The Rwandan Constitution provides that all citizens have a right to good health and the State has the duty of mobilising the population for actions aimed at promoting good health and to assist in implementing these activities. The improvement of the quality of health services provides an enabling environment for the population of Rwanda to fully participate in economic transformation.
The National Food and Nutrition policy was established by the Government of Rwanda to reduce malnutrition. A review of the policy shows that it has hugely improved food production and nutrition and contributed to a reduction in stunting from 44 % in 2013 to 37% in 2015. Although the policy has registered such a significant impact, the 37% registered in 2015 shows that malnutrition continues to be a public concern in Rwanda. Consequently Malnutrition remains a challenge that needs both Government and citizens’ involvement to eradicate this malaise.
It is in this regard that, Rwanda Defence Force Command and Staff College (RDFCSC) organised a National Study Tour (NST) as part of the Senior Command and Staff Course (SCSC) curriculum. To achieving the RDFCSC mission of developing students’ intellectual ability of understanding national, regional and global security challenges and how they impact on military operating environment, the College has earmarked the Rwandan health sector, as a basis for research to enhance students’ understanding of the general impact of this particular sector on national security. From 4 to 9 February 2019, the students of SCSC 07 conducted a NST under the theme: “Malnutrition in Rwanda: A threat to sustainable peace, security and economic development”.
The main objectives of the tour were to identify current policies and strategies of eradicating malnutrition in Rwanda, to assess effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the policies and strategies for eradicating malnutrition in Rwanda, to establish nexus between health, national security and economic development. Also to identify achievements and challenges in implementing the policies and strategies aimed at eradicating malnutrition in Rwanda and to propose recommendations towards eradicating malnutrition in Rwanda.
The tour aimed at providing first-hand information on the status of Malnutrition in Rwanda, existing policies and strategies in dealing with the problem through visits of all provinces and Kigali City.
On Monday 4th February 2019, the national study tour commenced with a brief at the Ministry of Health in Kigali, where the Minister of Health and other officials from the ministry, briefed students on Rwanda’s Health Sector policies and Programmes Implementation which included the priorities, monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
After a central policy level briefing by the Minister of Health, the course divided into four teams and dispersed to the 4 provinces and selected districts, namely: Burera and Gakenke in the Northern Province, Nyagatare and Gatsibo in Eastern Province, Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru in Southern Province, Rubavu and Nyabihu in Western Province.
At province level, the team met with the Governors and were briefed on the implementation of health policies, programmes and initiatives and then preceded to the districts HQs.
A group photo with the Governor Eastern Province
A group photo with the Executive Secretary Western Province
A group photo with the Governor Northern Province
A group photo with the Governor Southern Province
District Hospitals were visited.
The last leg of the tour was to visit different Health centres and to conduct interviews with different stakeholders at grass root level.
The Study Tour in the whole country ended successfully on Saturday 9th February 2019 as students headed back to the College in Nyakinama.