Nyagatare, May 2019 – In Nyagatare district, Eastern province, easy access to family planning and other services like treatment of preventable diseases has been a challenge. Mothers walked long distances to reach the nearest health facility.
However, with the construction of 32 health posts by the Society for Family Health (SFH) the situation has changed. Residents in rural settings are able to reach a health a facility within 30 minutes walking distance. The increment in the number of health posts within Nyagatare district has not only eased access to health care services but has also helped Nyagatare district to achieve universal health care.
Elia Kamanzi, Director of health in Nyagatare district says that the SFH contribution of 32 health posts in the district is another step towards the district’s target for universal health coverage. “This is an incredible achievement, if you look at our gaps considering what is suggested by the national health policy,” he said. Statistically, before the SFH contribution, the district in its planning required a decade to achieve the universal health coverage. “As a district we projected looking at our means, how long would it take us to achieve our universal health coverage and we found out that we needed ten or more years,” he noted. “We have seen an uptake increment of 6 percent of the modern family planning methods since the infrastructures were put in place, early last year it was 39 percent but now it is 45 percent and we are on the right track,” he explained.
To attain the national health policy requirement, Nyagatare needs 106 health posts for each cell and the district had 30 health posts as of last year with this year gaining 32 from SFH contribution. Accordingly, the National health policy requires that each district should have a district hospital, health centre at a sector level, a health post at administrative cell level.
In Rwimiyaga Cell, Nyagatare district Eastern Province a health post was constructed by SFH, has addressed the challenges of lack of access to health services. Celestin Ngabonziza the Executive secretary of Rwimiyaga sector says that health centre has addressed the challenges of lack of access to health services which were affecting the livelihoods of people as most people would not go for treatment when they fall sick. “Economically, it was affecting our people since it meant more spending to access health services,” he said adding that others would not work since it required a whole day to go for treatment.