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Maternal Health

SFH also actively involves itself in the promotion of healthy behaviors for mothers and mothers-to-be in Rwanda. The organization utilizes mid and mass media channels of communication, as well as community outreach initiatives, to promote maternal and child health messages throughout Rwanda.

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According to RDHS, 2014-2015, Infant and Under 5 mortality are very important elements of human development. Rwanda has experienced gradual and tangible declines in IMR and U5 mortality rates over the years since 2000. With infant mortality rate (IMR) decreasing to 32 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 107 deaths in the year 2000, and Under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) dropping to 50 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014/15 down from 196 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000.

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During the five years immediately preceding the survey, the infant mortality rate was 32 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the under-5 mortality rate was 50 deaths per 1,000 live births. Sixty four percent of all deaths among children under age 5 in Rwanda take place before a child’s first birthday, with 40 percent occurring during the first month of life. The 2014-15 RDHS documents a pattern of decreasing under-5 mortality during the 15 years prior to the survey.

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Rwanda has established a schedule for the administration of all basic childhood vaccines. BCG should be given shortly after birth. Polio vaccine should be given at birth and at approximately age 6, 10, and 14 weeks. Pentavalent vaccine should also be given at approximately age 6, 10, and 14 weeks. Measles vaccine should be given at or soon after the child reaches age 9 months. Each child who is vaccinated receives an immunization card on which all of the vaccines received are recorded. It is also recommended that the immunization card be given to the parents or guardians.

Mothers’ educational level and wealth status is positively correlated with basic vaccination coverage of their children. For example, 86 percent of children whose mothers had no education received full basic coverage, as compared with 93 percent of those children whose mothers had primary education and 98 percent of those whose mothers had secondary education or higher.