Health in Rwanda

General information

The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country with land borders with four countries: (clockwise from the north) Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Water covers 1,390 sq km of the country; the largest lakes include Bulera, Ihema, Kivu (straddling the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo), Mugesera and Muhazi, and there are many rivers. The country comprises five provinces.


Though the country is close to the Equator, the climate is tempered by altitude; it is hot and humid in the valleys, and drier and cooler in the higher elevations. The rainy seasons are March-May and October-November; the hottest season August-September.


The most significant environmental issues are drought, limiting the potential for agriculture; overgrazing; soil erosion and degradation; and deforestation due to almost universal use of wood as a fuel.


11,458,000 (2012); 19 per cent of people live in urban areas. The population growth rate stood at 2.1 per cent p.a. 1990-2012. In 2012 the birth rate was 36 per 1,000 people (53 in 1970) and life expectancy was 64 years (44 in 1970).
The main ethnic groups are Hutus, comprising an estimated 85 per cent of the population; Tutsis (14 per cent); and Twa (less than one per cent). Censuses carried out since the conflict of the 1990s have not included ethnicity.


Rwanda is classified as a low-income economy by the World Bank.