The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science


Vital Signs

If these gains can be sustained, Rwanda will be the only country in the region on track to meet each of the health-related millennium development goals by 2015. Yet, not long ago, it was the country least likely to do so: the goals measure progress against a 1990 baseline, so they do not account for the genocide of 1994, when child immunization rates plummeted below 25% and more than one in four children died before their fifth birthdays. From 2000 to 2011 the absolute number of child deaths annually fell by 62.8% (even as the population increased by 35.1%), while Rwanda’s regional ranking for child mortality went from 42nd to 7th. Rwanda’s average annual rate of reduction of 11.1% for this period was the world’s highest.

Source: Dr. Paul E. Farmer, et al;  BMJ 2013;346:f65