In a bid to improve a child’s chances of survival and lead to optimal growth and development, Rwanda has embarked on a drive that seeks to promote early childhood development.
Early Child Development Policy (EDC) and Strategic Plan will ensure that all children in Rwanda develop in a holistic manner through the provision of integrated health, nutritional, early stimulation and learning, and protection services to families and communities.
Early childhood development, defined as the period from birth up to eight years of age, is a critical window of opportunity for a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development.
Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the event to celebrate the Day of the African child, Oda Gasinzigwa, Rwanda minister of gender and family promotion said that children have not been well nurtured which has resulted into drug abuse by the youth.
“ECD will not only give young children the best possible start in life but is also the best investment that our country can make in order to achieve its national goals,” she noted.
“We need to bring our children up in an environment that enables them to contribute to the development of their country.”
Gasinzingwa parents have a critical influence on child survival and development to ensure early childhood care and education for every child ? right from the start.
She stated that the campaign will consider measures to overcome all forms of discrimination and guarantee quality early childhood care and education provision to boys and girls.
“Children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds, children with disabilities and those in emergency situations and marginalized communities will be well taken care of under the ECD imitative,” she said.
The meeting dubbed “accelerating our common efforts for early childhood development in Rwanda” deliberated the importance of behavior change, particularly the role children can play as agents of change.
Noala skinner, UNICEF representative to Rwanda commended the small Central African nation for taking great steps in ensuring better and sustainable upbringing of children.
“On behalf of partners, we reaffirm our commitment to give best start for children in Rwanda,” she noted.
Skinner stated that caregivers should be supported to develop professionally through training and constant refresher courses.
Most children under the age of five in low- and middle-income countries are not able to attain their development potential due to poverty, nutritional deficiencies and inadequate care and learning opportunities.
According to Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS5) 2015 report infant mortality rate in Rwanda has decreased to 32 deaths per 1000 live births in 2014/2015 down from 109 in 2000. Enditem