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Nyakubawa Ambasaderi, mwarakoze cyane kudusura!*

What a pleasure for IntraHealth to be able to host Rwanda’s Ambassador to the US, His Excellency James Kimonyo, at our headquarters offices here in North Carolina last week!  I felt particularly honored to participate in the visit, having spent the past five years living in Kigali and overseeing the USAID-funded Twubakane Decentralization and Health Program.  I felt like I was back in Kigali when the Ambassador reminded us of how important family planning and population issues are to Rwanda’s future social and economic development, and asked some wonderful questions about the best approaches to meet the country’s ambitious targets and the Millennium Development Goals. 

We discussed Rwanda’s overall successes in the health sector in recent years, including dramatic increases in the use of modern family planning methods and decreases in infant and child mortality. We also shared some of the innovations supported by IntraHealth in Rwanda, including the mobile physician approach for HIV services, expansion of family planning service delivery—especially long-acting methods and vasectomies—and the community-provider partnership approach.  Ambassador Kimonyo said that he was thrilled to be briefed on the nitty-gritty aspects of working for improved health in Rwanda, including challenges and lessons learned. We look forward to staying in touch!

*Mr. Ambassador, Thank you for the visit! (in Kinyarwandan)