Rwanda, Switzerland Strengthen Ties in Childhood Illness and Covid-19 Response

The Government of Rwanda and Switzerland have signed an agreement of cooperation to support two projects dubbed “Dynamic electronic decision trees for managing childhood illness” and “Covid-19 National Preparedness and Response Plan.”

The agreement was signed through the ministry of health, the ministry of finance, and the Swiss Agency for Development on behalf of Rwanda and Switzerland respectively on August 12.

According to the Rwanda Biomedical Centre’s (RBC), both projects are worth Rwf4b which will cover the period of 2020-2022

The first project will focus on improving the primary health care system of Rwanda, expansion of knowledge base on the implementation of digital health interventions, and socioeconomic and ecological impacts of digital health

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“It will also see the increased research capacity and publication and educational opportunities for Rwandan students and professionals in the health sector.”

The project is expected to contribute to the national frameworks and guidelines for the scale-up of digital health interventions.

The second project is aimed at enhancing Covid19 epidemiologic surveillance countrywide through the decentralization of key surveillance activities to district levels.

It will “put in place additional laboratories in two strategic locations outside Kigali to increase Covid testing capacities with continued community Covid awareness to promote behavior change.”

The project will also, as stated, enhance infection prevention and control for Covid19 in health facilities aiming to reduce infections among health workers.

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The minister of health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije commended the contribution of this cooperation to improve the primary health care system and combat Covid-19.

He appreciated Switzerland’s timely support which includes the renovation of Kibuye Referral Hospital’s intensive care unit which now serves as the Covid-19 referral center for the entire Western Province, thus the reduced burden of transfers to Kigali.”

Regional Director of Cooperation of the Swiss Agency of Development and Cooperation, Marc De Santis lauded Rwanda’s health sector for innovative approaches in building partnerships for efficient control and treatment of Covid19.

He assured Switzerland’s continued support of Rwanda’s responses to local and global health challenges.

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RBC, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, United Nations Development Programme, and Never Again Rwanda will partner in the implementation of these projects.

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