Download our Brochure

DHS Program informational brochure
Press Releases

Press Release

July 27, 2009 
Substantial improvements in family planning, maternal health, and child survival in Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda. Women and children in Rwanda are healthier, according to the 2007-08 Rwanda Interim Demographic and Health Survey (RIDHS) [English version] [French version]. More women are now using modern contraceptives and are also more likely to give birth in health care facilities. Fewer children are dying before their fifth birthday. These improvements reflect the concerted efforts of the Government of Rwanda and its development partners to meet the health needs of all Rwandan citizens.

More than one in four married women in Rwanda now uses a modern method of family planning. In the past seven years, modern contraceptive use has increased substantially from only 4% in 2000 to 27% in 2007. Injectables are by far the most commonly used method (15%), followed by the pill (6%). Urban and more educated women are more likely to use family planning than rural women and those with no education.

Childbirth has become safer, as more women receive care and assistance from skilled providers. Skilled providers now assist more than half of deliveries, an increase from 39% in 2005. Additionally, 45% of recent deliveries took place in a health care facility compared to only 28% of deliveries in 2005.

Infant and child mortality has declined, according to the survey. Infant mortality (deaths in the first 12 months) is now 62 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 86 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005. Under-five mortality has also declined from 152 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 103 in 2007-08.

Marked increases in ownership and use of mosquito nets have contributed to the decline in child mortality. Nationwide, 56% of households own a long lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN) compared to only 15% of households in 2005. Currently, 56% of children under age five sleep under an LLIN. This is a fourfold increase from 2005.

The RIDHS was conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda from December 2007 to April 2008. The survey interviewed over 7,000 households, 7,000 women age 15-49, and 6,800 men age 15-59.

Technical assistance was provided by ICF Macro, an ICF International Company, as part of the Demographic and Health Surveys project. Funding for the RIDHS was provided by the Government of Rwanda, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, UDNP, European Commission, and DFID.

Additional information about the survey can be obtained from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), P.O. Box 6139 Kigali, Rwanda; Email:; Internet: