Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bringing Mondays with the Minister to Communities

As previously discussed on my blog, I recently began a series of online discussions through Twitter to allow Rwandans, colleagues, and partners around the world to discuss issues related to health policy. These chats, held on Monday afternoons twice per month, are entitled “Mondays with the Minister.” 

I believe that equitable access to information and participation in debates around public health issues is a right of all citizens of the world, and I particularly avail myself for my fellow Rwandan citizens. I find this access important in all aspects of the Ministry of Health’s work. I am grateful to the owner of the ICT company Nyaruka, who leads by the same principles and worked at no cost with me on this project in order to allow Rwandans to send questions and comments by SMS for the discussion. Because cell phone coverage in Rwanda is over 60%, and because each of the three community health workers per village have cell phones, all Rwandans should be able to contribute a question or comment if they wish. The owner of the ICT company Nyaruka also graciously proposed to make this access free forever, as far as it is for a program that shares the same goals of open communication for improving health. 

Mondays with the Minister discussions will be held every two weeks. The time of may change, but they will always last for two hours duration. 

The next Mondays with the Minister chat will be Monday, 12 December from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The topic for discussion and debate will be malnutrition in Rwanda and what the Ministry of Health is doing to address the problem. 

To join on Twitter, follow me on Twitter at @agnesbinagwaho. To join by SMS, send a message to 0788 38 66 55 between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. And, if dialing from outside of Rwanda, please dial: +250 788 38 66 55. You can also see the questions submitted by SMS and their answers at I consider this and the Twitter forum to be a great opportunity for improving service delivery by incorporating the direct suggestions of the population, who are at the center of all decisions made by the Ministry of Health. I welcome your questions and look forward to productive and inclusive discussions!

Twitter: @agnesbinagwaho
SMS: 0788 38 66 55