Rwanda has shown that healthcare innovation in the developing world means more than investing in technology
Rwanda’s near-universal health care system has been the focus of much discussion and debate in the global health community. Now reaching nearly 90% of the population, its unique funding model, which combines tax revenue, foreign aid and voluntary premiums, has been closely studied by development agencies and governments alike across the developing world.
In the recent election, the success of the health care system came back into the spotlight. And rightly so.
As one commentator has recently highlighted, Rwanda’s economic output adds up to roughly 700 US$ per person, less than one eightieth of the average economic output of an American citizen. And yet today, a new born baby in Rwanda can expect to live to 64, only 15 years less than an American baby. That’s a phenomenal achievement.
Much of that achievement is a result of determined commitment to innovation – from the unique funding model through to patient delivery. Not everything about Rwanda’s healthcare system is replicable across the developing world, but their innovative mind set certainly should be.
Crucially, this mind-set means far more than investing in technology.
Photo courtesy of US Army Africa.