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Rwanda: Centre of Excellence to Improve Infant Health

The New Times (Kigali)

Maria Kaitesi

3 January 2012

The first Neonatology Centre of Excellence in the country will soon be launched at The University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK).

The centre will offer medical services to neonates – a term that refers to newborn babies – from the first day of birth to 28 days of their lives.

According to Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza, a pediatrician at CHUK and a Lecturer at the National University of Rwanda, the neonatology centre of excellence is aimed at improving the health of neonates in the country.

“The Centre of Excellence will reduce neonatal mortality rate which is still high in Rwanda. Neonatal mortality rate accounts for almost 40 percent of infant mortality rate. The centre will have good equipment to help treat most neonate diseases,” Rusingiza observed.

He disclosed that some of the commonest causes of mortality deaths are neonatal infections, birth asphyxia (when baby doesn’t get enough oxygen during delivery), prematurity and malformations such as complications in the heart, lungs and intestines, among others.

The doctor, however, observed that treatment and prevention for such conditions can be intensified upon the completion of the facility.

He said that the Centre of Excellence would be equipped with a paediatric intensive care unit and appropriate modern equipment.

The centre will also offer training to medical officers from district hospitals.

Lux Development, the Belgian Technical Cooperation and the Ministry of Health are the major partners involved in setting up the centre.

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