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Winner of 2012 Photography Fellowship in Africa

Rwanda's Improving Health Care

Todd Shapera | Rwanda

Organization: Todd Shapera Photography

In northeast Rwanda, community health worker Marie Chantal walks the footpath to her village, Batamuliza Hururiro. Rwanda has three community health workers for each of 14,000 villages. They are coordinated and trained through local health clinics. Marie attends to pregnant woman and mothers with new borns, offering education and support for birth control, breast feeding, and hygenic practices.

Only two decades after horrific genocide, Rwanda has transformed into a peaceful, vibrant country.  Among the gains has been remarkable success in improving public health.  Since 2005 the country has:

·  Halved under-5 child mortality

-  Boosted life expectancy to 60 years

-  Recorded a 50% increase in hospital and clinic births from 40% to 60% with a corresponding 60% reduction in maternal mortality

-  Registered  80% reductions in  HIV, TB, and malaria deaths  

These gains have corresponed with increased coverage of modern family planning methods from 10% to 45% among currently married women.  Policies have also dramatically expanded access to health care with 90% of the population covered under the innovative Community-Based Health Insurance program (Mutuelle).  Separately,  three community health workers for each of 14,000 villages bring basic education, prevention, and early treatment services for serious diseases like malaria and diarrhea.

For eight days, I documented aspects of rural health care in the northeast and northwest Rwanda, far from the capital, Kigali. 


I felt honored and privledged to be chosen as one of four recipients of a 2013 fellowship  from Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to photograph in Africa.  The fellowship was awarded following a global competition organized by Social Documentary.net.

The work wouldn't have been possible without the supervision in Rwanda by MSH manager Marcellin Mugabe, daily guidance on the road of  MSH staffer  Dr. Moses Ahabwe, and our affable, climb-any-mountain driver, Feliz Nzitatira.



web:  ToddShapera.com

email:  ToddS@cloud9.net

phone: 914-631-8353

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