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