PSI Promotes Healthy Behaviors Across Rwanda

PSI/Rwanda staff gather in front of a Tuzanet poster.
PSI/Rwanda staff gather in
front of a Tuzanet poster.

KIGALI, Rwanda – PSI and its child health survival campaign, Five & Alive, are using creating messaging to promote healthy behaviors among youth and provide products to prevent malaria and diarrheal disease across Rwanda.

In the September 2008 issue of Condé Nast Traveler, Editor-in-Chief Klara Glowczewska highlights these efforts. She travels with PSI’s YouthAIDS Founder Kate Roberts and Boardmember and actress Ashley Judd to check out some of the projects.

Their first stop is an event outside of Kigali where Five & Alive is using “edutainment” in the form of a Cinemobile presentation to broadcast healthy messages to youth who have little access to television, radio or newspapers. The teens have gathered in front of a large screen on an empty football field to watch a short film on malaria prevention and treatment for children under five. PSI has collaborated with the government to help reduce malaria rates by 60% in Rwanda, according to the article.

East of Kigali in the village of Kirehe, PSI distributes products at a small pharmacy. The shop stocks PSI’s Tuzanet, a long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito net (LLIN); Primo, an antimalarial medication for children; and Sur’Eau, a water purification product. The article notes that all the products are endorsed by the government and accessible throughout Rwanda at subsidized prices or at no cost. About 14,000 community health workers who are trained by the government dispense the products in villages without pharmacies.

Finally, the article recognizes one of PSI’s most important activities: data collection, which involves visiting people in their homes to learn about their health practices and educate them about the correct use of products.