According to the 2010 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS), less than 1 in 13 children dies before his or her fifth birthday compared with about 1 in 6.5 children in 2005.
Rwanda also has one of the lowest under-five mortality rates in the region and takes the lead in protecting its children from infectious diseases, a press statement from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) reveals.
Dr Fidel Ngabo, the Coordinator of Maternal and Child Health noted that this has been achieved through high vaccination coverage which is presently at 90 percent.
He added that more women are also having safe births from health facilities and sleeping under treated mosquito nets.
According to the NISR statement, home births have also decreased by 30 percent compared with 49 percent in 2007-08 thus helping to lower the mortality rate.
“Child birth has never been safer as more women are cared for and assisted during pregnancy and delivery by skilled providers. Nearly 7 in 10 deliveries occur at a health facility compared to 5 in 10 in 2007-2008,”read the statement.
However, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister of Health, stated that the less than 5 mortality rate needs to be further reduced.
“Whereas we seem to be doing well in this area, there’s need to put more effort to ensure it reduces even further if we want to increase the life expectancy to that of mid income countries,” said Binagwaho.
She called upon the different stakeholders in the health sector and everyone else to play a part in reducing the maternal mortality rate.
Binagwaho said the country was on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2020.