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Rwanda has an estimated population of over 11.5 million people. Forty-two percent of the population is under 15 years of age and 53 percent is of reproductive age. Eighty-three percent of the population lives in rural areas and are engaged in subsistence agriculture. Rwanda continues to suffer from the devastating effects of the 1994 genocide, which resulted in the deaths of one million people and the displacement of an additional two million. Since then, the government has embraced policies to improve education, infrastructure and investment in market-oriented reforms.
Health Care System
In recent years, Rwanda’s health care system has been decentralized to better coordinate services among hospitals, local health centers, and communities. As in many other developing countries, the system faces many challenges, including shortages of qualified physicians and nurses and poor clinical and laboratory infrastructure, especially in rural areas. Great advances have been made in increasing access to preventive and curative health services and in reducing maternal and child mortality, however there is still a need to combat infectious diseases—such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis— and maternal and child illnesses.
HIV in Rwanda
In Rwanda, there are an estimated 190,000 people living with HIV and the adult HIV seroprevalence is approximately 3.1 percent. An estimated 210,000 children in the country have been orphaned due to HIV. In part because of the investment in robust policies and infrastructure by the government of Rwanda in response to the epidemic, by the end of October 2012, 93 percent of clinically eligible adults were receiving ART.
ICAP in Rwanda
ICAP works in partnership with the Government of Rwanda to support the scale-up of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs. ICAP supports an array of capacity-building activities, including intensive mentoring and training programs for healthcare providers, laboratory technicians, and social workers. Areas of program focus include:
- Pediatric HIV/AIDS care and treatment, focusing on adolescent-friendly services
- Integrated tuberculosis/HIV care and treatment
- Development of laboratory capacity and quality improvement toward accreditation
- Support for survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence
- Targeted services for men who have sex with men
- Targeted evaluations