What is healthcare in Rwanda like?

Facilities and Health Information:

There are very few emergency municipal response services. Ambulances are available in Kigali through SAMU by calling 912 from any mobile phone, or through King Faisal Hospital at 078 830 9003. Ambulance service is basic and works solely as transportation, usually with no medical treatment involved. The ambulance companies expect payment either up front or upon delivery. They charge an initial 5,000 Rwandan Francs (RWF),then an addition charge per kilometer traveled. Outside of Kigali, ambulances are extremely scarce. Medical and dental facilities are limited, and some medicines are in short supply or unavailable; you should carry your own supply of properly-labeled medications to cover your entire stay. In Kigali, King Faisal Hospital is a private facility that offers 24-hour assistance with physicians and nurses on duty in the emergency room. There are several dental clinics and a few private dentists. Charitable hospitals run by U.S. organizations with some surgical facilities can be found in Kibagora, in southwestern Rwanda, in Ruhengeri, near the gorilla trekking area, and in Rwinkwavu, near the entrance to Akagera National Park. Medical care in Rwanda is not practiced on the same standard one would expect in the US. There are some western trained physicians but many are locally trained where the standard of medical education is not on par with the United States.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a current list of healthcare providers and facilities in Rwanda on its website.

There are periodic outbreaks of meningitis in Rwanda, and the meningitis vaccine is recommended if you are traveling during the dry season, May-October. Yellow fever can cause serious medical problems, but the vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease. The yellow fever vaccine is required for all travelers over 9 months of age, and travelers who cannot show proof of vaccination will not be permitted to enter Rwanda. Tuberculosis (TB) is an increasingly serious health concern in Rwanda. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.

Malaria is endemic to Rwanda. We strongly encourage U.S. citizens visiting Rwanda to take prophylactic medications to prevent malaria. These should be initiated prior to entry into the endemic area. Many malaria prophylactic medicines are not available in Rwanda and, because of possible counterfeit of anti-malarial medications, these should be obtained from a reliable pharmaceutical source before arrival. Multiple outbreaks of Ebola have been reported in neighboring DRCin 2007 and Uganda in 2008, but none within Rwanda. Rabies is present throughout the country. All bites, scratches, and licks should be taken seriously and post-exposure rabies treatment sought. Pre-exposure rabies immunization is recommended for long-term travelers, and those adventure travelers who will be more than 24 hours away from reliable post-exposure treatment. Post exposure treatment for rabies is not always reliably available.

Schistosomiasis, transmitted by waterborne larvae that penetrate intact skin, presents significant risk throughout the country. All fresh water lakes in the area should be considered contaminated. You should avoid swimming or wading in Lake Kivu and all freshwater exposure.

Drinking Water Source - % of rural population improved"

68.3%

Drinking Water Source - % of total population unimproved:

29.3%

Drinking Water Source - % of urban population improved:

80.7%

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2.9%

Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population:

1.6

People Living with HIV/AIDS:

170,000

Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population:

.06

Sanitation Facility Access - % of total population unimproved:

36.2%

Sanitation Facility Access - % of urban population improved:

61%

Sanitation Facitlity Access - % of rural population improved:

64.4%

Infectious Diseases - degree of risk:

very high

Animal Contact Disease (s):

rabies

Food or Waterborne Disease (s):

bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

Vectorborne Disease (s):

malaria and dengue fever

Charity: water - providing clean water

Donate Today - Give Clean Water

1 in 10 people lack access to clean water. We are on a mission to change that.

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Donate to Charity: water

Disability Access In Rwanda

Accessibility:

While in Rwanda, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you would find in the United States. Buildings with elevators and ramps are limited, though newly-constructed buildings have improved access and facilities.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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