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Private and Public Partnership to Increase Access to Healthcare Services in Rwanda

Rwanda Ministry of Health

REPUBLIC OF RWANDA Ministry of Health PRESS RELEASE 

3 April 2012, Kigali – A new partnership is announced today which brings together  One Family Health (OFH) Foundation, GSK, Ecobank, on one hand and Healthstore Holdings (HSH) and the Rwandan Ministry of Health on the other, in a coordinated effort to establish 240 health posts across Rwanda over the next three years. With support from the Ministry of Health, this innovative partnership aims to increase access to high quality essential medicines and basic healthcare for around two million people per year in rural communities in Rwanda. This is the first step in an overall ambition to create up to 500 health posts in Rwanda over the next seven years as per a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Health and HSH, and in alignment with the Rwandan Government’s Vision 2020.

This health post model, known as Child and Family Wellness (CFW) Health Posts, will operate under a business-format franchise network. They will be run by experienced nurses providing an entry point into the formal Rwandan public health system. This franchise model, which has been successfully piloted in Kenya, will give nurses joining the franchise access to finance and training in finance management, enabling them to earn a living whilst also increasing access to high quality essential medicines and basic healthcare for their local communities.

CFW is a Social Sector Franchise and is a member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Social Sector Franchise Task Force.  Two of OFH’S directors, Michael Seid and Sid Feltenstein serve on the IFA Board of Directors (Washington, DC) as member and Chair of the Social Sector Task Force and as Past Chairman of the association, respectfully.

GSK has already committed £900,000 to HSH to get an initial 60 health posts up and running. Under the terms of the new partnership, GSK will provide £1.8million in new funding  as an interest free loan to enable HSH  expand  the franchise network by a further 180 health posts. The Rwandan Ministry of Health will facilitate the availability of designated physical structures for CFW Health Posts and specifications as required under this Partnership. Negotiations are at an advanced stage within Ecobank for nurses buying into the franchise to receive loans at affordable rates through Donor subsidies. Both GSK and Ecobank will contribute to a bursary to enable continued nurse training and development. HSH, the for-profit entity behind the franchise, will provide ongoing training, mentoring and expertise to support the nurse franchisees.

The Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho hailed the partnership saying it would add value to the quality of health care provided and bring health care services closer to the communities.

“With this partnership, we are assured of quality of health care extended to our people including more accessibility to drugs especially in remote areas which eventually leads to our ultimate goal of having a healthy population for economic development,” Minister Binagwaho said.

Commenting on the partnership, Duncan Learmouth, SVP, Developing Countries and Market Access, GSK said: “I am delighted that GSK, Ecobank, HSH and the Rwandan Ministry of Health have come together in this innovative partnership focused on expanding access to medicines for communities in Rwanda. We believe this franchise model has great potential for success and could be expanded beyond Rwanda.”

Sub-Saharan Africa has to meet 24% of the world’s health burden with only 3% of the world’s healthcare workforce and only 1% of the global health budget.

Contact for Ministry of Health:

Mr. Arthur Asiimwe, +250 788312517, Arthur.asiimwe@rbc.gov.rw