Barriers to Accessing Healthcare in Rwanda

Over the past twenty years Rwanda has seen exceptional improvements in health outcomes. They have witnessed a decrease in the unmet need for family planning, a decrease in the prevalence of HIV, and an increase in access to preventive services such as mosquito nets.

One of the major factors that has contributed to these improvements has been a generous national budget designated to healthcare expenditure (including subsidization of the national health scheme, Mutuelle). In Rwanda in 2015/2016 the percent of the national budget allocated to healthcare was 10.2% compared to Uganda 5.3% and Kenya 4% in the same period (http://www.eannaso.org/resources/reports/33-eannaso-2015-eac-health-financing-profile/file). By investing in the health of its citizens, Rwanda is increasing the intellectual capacity, productivity, and economic success of the country.

However, one of the opportunities many TWB women still lack IS access to health insurance. Most women who start our training program are not insured even though Mutuelle is designed to be affordable based on family income. This is because many barriers still exist in accessing Mutuelle, including lack of knowledge about the plan, documentation for registration, and inability to save money.

The Women’s Bakery hopes to be the missing link that will connect families to Mutuelle services. This month the eight women working at our Remera bakery have been signing their families up for the health insurance plan with the help of our Operations Manager, Yvonne. Yvonne has helped to educate, collect proper documentation, and develop personal budgets to make health insurance a reality.

In total eight women, four husbands, and thirty children will be registered for national healthcare. Thank you to all of our supporters who believe it what we do, the women we work with, and the families and communities they support. We couldn’t do it without you.