MPs in Rwanda have held a meeting with leaders of key government ministries as part of a drive to improve healthcare for women, children and adolescents. The country has made progress in cutting some maternal deaths, but more needs to be done in other areas such as reducing the number of children dying.
The meeting discussed the urgent need for new and efficient systems to collect accurate information on births, marriages and deaths. It followed visits by MPs to areas around the country to see for themselves the nature of the problem. The MPs say a nationwide campaign is needed to make the public aware of how the information is used to plan medical and social services. The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health identifies civil registration and vital statistics as a key issue in order for women, children and adolescents to have access to services and entitlements and realize their rights to proper health care, education and basic social benefits.
The meeting was the latest in a series of steps set out in an agreement with IPU to provide technical and financial support to Rwanda's Parliament in its efforts to build the capacity of MPs to fully exercise their oversight of laws and budgets and to raise awareness among the public of maternal, newborn and child health issues. The agreement also supports the creation of new and efficient systems for collecting national statistics.