White Ribbon Alliance members in Rwanda are advocating for a National Charter, inclusive of Respectful Care, health insurance and nutrition, to protect pregnant women and newborns, and are campaigning for an increase in health budget allocation. The alliance aims to involve the media in the local and national fight to improve maternal health.
Finalizing Strategic Plan, Continuing Activities
This quarter witnessed the finalization of WRA Rwanda’s (WRA-R) three-year strategic plan, out of which a one year operational plan has also been derived. The plan is the national alliance’s first strategic plan since its inception in 2008 and therefore represents an important milestone in the development of the national alliance as well as the reinvigorated safe motherhood movement in Rwanda.
The following key outputs or result areas provide WRA-R focus for the next three years:
OUTPUT 1: Increased incentives for all health workers, with a focus on those in rural areas
OUTPUT 2: Increased availability of midwives
OUTPUT 3: Increased public awareness on family planning and maternal health services and rights
OUTPUT 4: Improved community level collection, analysis and use of maternal and newborn mortality data
OUTPUT 5: Strengthened national and district level presence, action and capacity of WRA-R
WRA-R will use a range of strategies to achieve these results, including:
- Evidence-based advocacy activities to influence government and donor priorities, policy, practise and resource allocation
- Use of mass media to mobilize increased public awareness and support for safe motherhood rights and services
On October 7 2009, Rwandan First Lady and WRA-R patron, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, officiated the event and launched the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) in Rwanda. The event, which combined with the WRA-R General Assembly, was organized by WRA-Rwanda. One of the key activities to follow after this launch was to have CARMMA also launched at decentralized administrative levels and specifically at the district level.
WRA-Rwanda, together with the Ministry of Health and UNFPA, were involved in the planning to launch CARMMA at District level. The launch is planned for July 2010.
International Maternal and Child Health Conference
WRA-R participated and presented at the International Maternal and Child Health Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference, which attracted many participants from many countries in the region, was organized by the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Ms. Sifa Uwera, a WRA-R member employed with DFID/Rwanda, made a presentation on behalf of WRA. The presentation, entitled “From Grassroots to Grass Tops”, emphasized WRA’s unique approach of getting everyone on board and what each level from the national level to community and family levels can do in the fight against maternal deaths.
The Official Debut of Stories of Mothers Saved/Women Deliver Conference
Jackson Bamwesigye, the Technical Advisor of WRA-R, participated at the Women Deliver Conference held in Washington, DC from 7-9 June 2010. During the same time, Stories of Mothers Saved, a project in which WRA-R contributed, officially debuted. WRA-R is considering how to use the Stories for continued advocacy and awareness.
- A Rwanda Where No Woman Dies at Birth
The Rwandan government has long committed to reduce maternal mortality in order to achieve United Nation's Millennium Development Goal 5. The MDG5 target is to halve maternal and child deaths by 2015.
- Family Planning and Population Growth in Rwanda
WRA member Gloria Iribagiza and Rwanda's daily newspaper, New Times, have put the focus on family planning and the population of 7 billion in their weekly magazine.