In recent years, the country of Rwanda has strongly invested in the decentralization of the health system, empowering its network of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to strengthen the supply and demand side and establish secondary health posts next to faith-based health facilities that do not provide family planning (FP) commodities.
Additionally, the integration of FP with other health services and the capacity building of health care providers to provide long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods have advanced the positive trend of FP uptake. As well, the improvement of FP education and service provision among youth required the integration of SRH services in healthcare through Youth Corners and a strong collaboration with Youth Friendly Centers.
The site visits scheduled prior to the 2018 ICFP offer Rwanda the opportunity to share with conference attendees a first-hand look at these successful programs in action. Four districts were chosen to showcase FP best practices: the City of Kigali, Rwamagana, Kayonza and Kamonyi. The FP delivery posts featured include: Rwamagana and Remera Rukoma District Health Centers; Masaka and Kicukiro Secondary Health Posts; Kimisagara, Kamonyi and Kayonza Youth Friendly Centers and Youth Corners.
Those who registered and received a confirmation should arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled departure times at the designated bus pick-up area at the Kigali Convention Centre.
Youth Friendly Centers
Youth Friendly Centers (YFCs) have contributed to the increase of FP uptake among youth in the community through family planning education and service provision. The collaboration of YFCs with the nearest health centers to facilitate the transfer of some clients has been a successful strategy to improve FP service provision among youth. Visitors will learn about YFC management, the friendliness of services, the available FP service package and data recording.
There are 30 district pharmacies in Rwanda, one per district. A district pharmacy (DP) is an independent entity within the Rwandan Health System at the district level. A DP is responsible for storage of FP among other commodities, distribution within hospitals and health centers. A site visit at a district pharmacy in Rwanda would inform visitors about the supply chain management system in Rwanda from the central warehouse to the beneficiaries (last mile) and the Electronic Logistic Management Information System (ELMIS) used to track the use of and need for drugs to prevent stock outs in health facilities.
Secondary Health Posts
The establishment of secondary health posts (SHPs) marks one of Rwanda’s success stories in family planning. SHPs have been created in districts whereby faith based health facilities do not provide modern FP commodities. Visitors of a SHP will gain knowledge of the management of the post with a focus on the administrative role of districts, the role of the affiliated health center, the FP commodities supply and reporting and the available human resource and FP package. This visit will also include visiting a community health worker (CHW) in action, showcasing the package of FP (provision of injectable and oral FP methods), data collection and reporting, and innovative mobile phone use in maternal and child health services at the community level. (In total, Rwanda has 5011 CHWs.)
There are 503 health centers in Rwanda. Visitors to health centers will gain an understanding of the benefits of the task shifting, integration of family planning in other services including voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, antenatal care, maternity, service provision of FP within HCs (through youth corners), referral mechanisms and the monitoring and evaluation of Community Health Workers (CHW). The visit will also include witnessing a CHW in action, showcasing the package of FP (provision of injectable and oral FP methods), data collection and reporting, and innovative mobile phone use in maternal and child health services at the community level. Visitors will also learn about the monitoring and evaluation system put in place for community based programs including their referral mechanism, health center staff visits at CHW’S homes and monthly meetings.