Sunday 9 May 2021
Home      All news      Contact us      RSS      English
newtimes - 24 days ago

Kwibuka 27: Rwanda’s development reminds us of the phoenix

Rwanda, a small country in the middle of Africa, faced a terrible, manmade disaster in 1994. A terrible, ethnic genocide started on 7 April, which lasted for 3 months.  About a million people were massacred and many displaced. Skilled man power was destroyed, as most of the doctors, professors and other intellectuals were killed or ran away for their lives. The economy was totally shattered. Peace reigned in after June 1994 and then development was started, after stabilisation of the country and governance.  Way back in 1999, my husband was selected for a teaching assignment in Rwanda, and I accompanied him and stayed here for a few months initially. Later I returned in 2005 to work and stay here. I saw the dramatic positive changes that had occurred in Rwanda by that time.  In August 1999, Kigali had the look of a small underdeveloped town. There were either no roads or broken roads, small multiple shops and kiosks existed in town in place of a market, barring the, ‘Shakuni,’ the vegetable market town which was very congested. But today Kigali has changed dramatically. One seeing the high rise beautiful buildings, clean broad roads, lush greenery and plants around, would never believe if told about the previous state of the capital city.  Recently Kigali has been ranked as one of the cleanest capitals of Africa.  Health is another sector, where Rwanda has made tremendous progress.  Around 1999 and 2000, health personnel and resources were few. HIV was a big problem with almost 50% resources directed towards HIV/AIDS. But with gradual sustained training of health care workers (availability of antiretroviral drugs down till health centre level), efficient prevention of mother to child transmission(PMTCT) program-HIV prevalence has been brought down from 10% in 2000 to 2.09% in 2016.  Similarly malaria prevalence has also been brought down. Currently covid-19 outbreak has been contained very efficiently in Rwanda, for which it is being praised. NCD (Non-communicable diseases) division of Rwanda biomedical centre has very well sensitised people about non communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes and now, their treatment is accessible and affordable for people even in small places.  Health insurance coverage in Rwanda has been higher than that of even U.S.A. The education sector has similarly made huge progress in Rwanda. After the genocide, there was scarcity of qualified teachers. But today 27 years later, there are highly qualified Rwandan people in teaching and skilled man power from here is even working in other countries. The law and order situation is exemplary and I have always felt safe while living here. There is zero tolerance to corruption in contrast, to most developing countries of the world. Due to this, every initiative generated by the Government, every project started by the Government reaches the beneficiaries at ground level.  Due to ease of doing business and lack of bureaucratic hassles, businessmen, even from other nations are happy to start businesses here, thus contributing to development and generating jobs for the common men. The same goes for tourism. Though Gorillas are also present in mountains of Uganda, Congo, Rwanda remains a preferred tourist destination for those who can afford it, due to the tours being very well organised and safe. Public services in Rwanda are client friendly and efficient. I have just briefly mentioned the journey of sustained progress of Rwanda in some sectors. It has made huge progress in every sector. It has been rebuilt practically from dust and ashes to being one of the best places to live, as per World Bank indicators. Development of Rwanda reminds one of the phoenix, i.e., the mythical bird from Greek mythology which rises from the ashes as a symbol of rebirth and eternal life. I feel proud to have witnessed and been part of journey of this huge progress. Dr. Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine rachna212002@yahoo.co.uk


Latest News
Hashtags:   

Kwibuka

 | 

Rwanda

 | 

development

 | 

reminds

 | 

phoenix

 | 

Sources