Rwanda continues to achieve the MDGs

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals that in September 2000, all 193 United Nations member states have agreed to achieve by the year 2015 in order to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world's poorest countries. 

The 8 Millenium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals are:
GOAL 1: Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty
GOAL 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
GOAL 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
GOAL 4: Reduce Child Mortality
GOAL 5: Improve Maternal Health
GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
GOAL 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability
GOAL 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

As a member of UN, as a country looking for a better life for its population, Rwanda is trying to achieve these MDGs.

In this article, let’s have a look on how Rwanda is achieving the Goal 4 which is to Reduce Child Mortality and Goal 5 which is to Improve Maternal Health.

For Goal 4, we are observing the following five mortality rates:

1.   Neonatal mortality rate: the probability of dying within the first month of life;
2.   Post-neonatal mortality rate: the difference between infant and neonatal mortality rates;
3.   Infant mortality rate : the probability of dying before the first birthday;

Table 1: Early childhood mortality rates

Years preceding the survey

Neonatal mortality rate (NNR)

Post-neonatal mortality rate (PNNR)

Infant mortality rate

Child mortality rate

Under-five mortality rate




















4.   Child mortality rate: the probability of dying between the first and fifth birthday;

Under-five mortality rate: the probability of dying between birth and the fifth birthday. 

For the Goal 5, which is to Improve maternal health, Rwanda has done much..
While The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least four ANC visits at regular intervals throughout the pregnancy, women in Rwanda are getting aware of that.
Table 2: Number of antenatal care visits

Number of ANC visits Residence Total
  Urban Rural Total
None 1.5 1.9 1.8
1 5.4 4.2 4.3
2-3 52.5 59.1 58.3
4+ 40.4 34.7 35.4
Don’t know/missing 0.3 0.2 0.2

According to the RDHS 2010, (see table 2), the rate of women who did 4 antenatal care (ANC) visits and more is 35.4 per 100. Those who live in urban areas are at the rate of 40.4 per cent while in rural areas the reach 34.7 per cent.

Source: NISR, RDHS 2010

According to the RDHS 2010, the percent of babies in Rwanda delivered by a health professional has increased substantially in the recent past, from 52 percent in the 2007-08 RIDHS to 69 percent in the 2010 RDHS .
The proportion of babies delivered at a health facility increased substantially during the same period, from 45 percent in 2007-08 to 69 percent in 2010.
the lowest percentage is in the North province (63 percent).
According to the RDHS 2010, (see table 3), 82 percent of births to urban women were delivered in a healthfacility compared to 67 percent of births to rural women. The percentage of births delivered in a health facility increases steadily with the increasing education of the mother
According to the RDHS 2010, (see table 3), 57 percent of births to women with no education were delivered in a health facility, 70 percent of births born to women with at least some primary education were delivered in a health facility, and 87 percent born to women with at least some secondary schooling were delivered in a health facility.
The variations in whether or not births are delivered by a skilled provider according to background characteristics are similar to those seen among women who delivered in a health facility.
Table 3: Maternal care indicators

Background characteristic Percentage with antenatal care from a skilled provider1 Percentage whose last live birth was protected against neonatal tetanus2 Percentage delivered by a skilled provider1 Percentage delivered in a health facility
Mother’s age at birth
<20 97.1 61.5 83.1 82.7
20-34 98.4 69 70.6 70.6
35+ 97 79.4 57.4 57
Urban 98.3 66.8 82.4 82
Rural 98 71.3 67.2 67.1
Kigali City 99 63.4 83.1 83
South 97.6 72.5 66.4 66.6
West 97.9 67.7 71 70.6
North 98.3 72.1 63.8 63.4
East 98 73.8 67.5 67.5
Mother’s education
No education 96.4 69.8 57.1 56.7
Primary 98.4 70.9 69.9 69.9
Secondary or higher 98.7 71.4 87.7 87.3
Total 98 70.7 69 68.9

Source: NISR, RDHS 2010

By: Jean Claude Nyirimanzi