According to the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2014-2015, over one-third of the children aged 1-5 years are stunted, which is an indicator of chronic malnutrition. Only one out of six children between ages 6-23 months receive “a minimum acceptable diet.”
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Butare (CHUB) is one of two university teaching hospitals in Rwanda. It is a 500-bed referral hospital that provides care for patients from the Western and Southern Provinces, many of whom have subsidized public health insurance. It is located in Huye (previously known as Butare) in the Southern part of Rwanda, near Burundi, from where there continues to be a steady flow of refugees fleeing violence. The rates of childhood malnutrition and poverty in the Western Province, near the Democratic Republic of Congo, are the highest in the country. Many families who are unable to afford food while in CHUB are often from this region. Patients’ families, most of whom come from a significant distance away and are often subsistence farmers in their hometowns, are faced with the choice of whether to pay for tests, medications, or food. KU currently runs all of its operations at CHUB, but plans to expand to other district hospitals and health centers in the near future.