USAID Ireme

Overview

Rwanda has made significant strides toward achieving universal health coverage, making it a model for development in Africa. In Rwanda’s Vision 2050, inspired national leadership and a committed population set out equally ambitious goals, envisioning Rwanda as a high-income country whose people enjoy universal access to equitable, high-quality health care.

To realize this vision, Rwanda must address significant development issues, achieving greater fiscal efficiency amidst slowing economic growth and high inflation, and changing cultural and social norms that still limit opportunities for women and other vulnerable populations. It has to overcome key technical challenges—such as siloed information systems, inefficient resource allocation, staffing shortages, and low health worker motivation.

With support from USAID, MSH will work closely with the Government of Rwanda and partner organizations to strengthen the capacity, leadership, and resiliency of the country’s health system. Through USAID Ireme, we will help improve cost efficiency and resource allocation, build management and governance skills across the health system, and strengthen workforce optimization. The name, Ireme, translates to quality in Kinyarwanda, which reflects our work to strengthen foundational systems to improve comprehensive, quality services for all. The five-year project (2023-2028) is supported by an all-Rwandan, women-led, gender-diverse leadership team that is equipped with the skills and experience needed to bring us closer to achieving the Vision 2050 goals. USAID Ireme aims to build on the achievements of previous MSH-led projects in Rwanda to further improve health outcomes and create lasting change.

MSH will apply a holistic, sustainable systems thinking for health approach and engage with communities, civil society, and private-sector partners to:

  • Foster accountability through citizen engagement and effective governance 
  • Integrate data systems for better evidence-based decision making 
  • Strengthen allocation and use of financial and human resources  
  • Advance gender equity and social inclusion  
USAID Ireme: Increasing the Healthcare Workforce Through the Midwife Scholarship Program Launched in July 2023, the Government of Rwanda’s (GOR) 4×4 strategy aims to quadruple the country’s health care professional workforce over the next 4 years. USAID Ireme partnered with the GOR and local organizations to support the Midwife Scholarship Program, which awarded 500 scholarships at three local institutions for students studying midwifery. Graduating midwives will go on to work across the country, improving national maternal, newborn, and family health outcomes.
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Midwife Scholarships Program Transforms the Future of Maternal Health Care

In July 2023, the Government of Rwanda launched a national strategy to quadruple the country’s healthcare workforce by 2027. In support of this effort, USAID Ireme partnered with the Ministry of Health and local organizations to create the Midwife Scholarship Program, awarding 500 scholarships to students studying midwifery at three local institutions. Graduating midwives will work across the country, enhancing national maternal and newborn health outcomes.

USAID Ireme Fact Sheet

The USAID Ireme Activity aims to strengthen the leadership, resilience, and capacity of the Rwandan health systems to sustain quality services and improve equitable health outcomes for Rwandans. Our work is focused on strengthening leadership, resilience, and capacity at all levels of the health system to ensure sustained quality services and advance equitable health outcomes.

Headshot of Anita Asiimwe
Anita Asiimwe

Chief of Party

Project Contact

Dr. Anita Asiimwe, MD, MSH’s Chief of Party of the USAID Ireme project, has 20 years of experience improving health systems in Rwanda. A former Rwandan Minister of State in charge of public health and primary health care, Dr. Asiimwe is a leader in Rwanda’s health sector. 

Before joining MSH, Dr. Asiimwe led the Rwandan agency that developed and implemented national early childhood development strategies; co-led agencies that were responsible for setting strategies in multiple infectious disease areas, including HIV and AIDS; and was instrumental in developing the first national noncommunicable diseases policy and strategy. 

Dr. Asiimwe served as a Global Fund Board member representing the Eastern and Southern Africa Constituency and co-chaired the Global Fund Board Strategy, Investment, and Impact Committee. She is a founding member of the Africa Constituency Bureau, which supports African leadership in advocating for increased resources at the Global Fund to fight HIV and AIDS, TB, and malaria. Dr. Asiimwe is a medical doctor and holds a master’s in public health from the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom. 

Donors & Partners

Donors

The United States Agency for International Development

Partners

Health Information Systems Program (HISP) Rwanda

Centre for Impact, Innovation, and Capacity building for Health Information Systems and Nutrition (CIIC-HIN)

PharmAccess Foundation