Josephine M. Murekezi and pregnant women in Rwanda

3 min read /
Pregnancy and breastfeeding Nutrition Health & Wellness Low Birth Weight
Josephine M. Murekezi

Josephine M. Murekezi first obtained a qualification in midwifery in 1985, after which she obtained an advanced Degree in the field in 2006 and a Master’s degree in 2008. She currently serves as the president of the Rwanda Association of Midwives and she is the director of Nursing Services in maternal, child and women’s health at King Faisal hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. She was devoted to becoming a midwife after receiving excellent care in a paediatric ward in her childhood.  She notes that the favourite part of her job is helping mothers and their babies. She also participates in programmes that aim to educate communities about nutrition and child development. In July of 2022, she completed some of NNIA’s learning programmes which focused primarily on the care of pregnant women and post-natal care. She participated in the following NNIA programmes: 

  • Nursing skills for newborn care 
  • Role of nurses in providing breastfeeding support and counselling to mothers 
  • Nutrition and its role in child growth and development 
  • Counselling mothers on appropriate complementary feeding practices 
  • Nutrition management of common health issues among children

Experience gained through the course of a career spanning over three decades coupled with the new knowledge acquired through the NNIA means that Murekezi can continue to help the women and children of Rwanda, “the programmes gave me the courage to start counselling pregnant women about healthy eating and keeping active during their pregnancy. The counselling will be centred around women and will include women of all backgrounds.” Murekezi is also intent on using knowledge she attained through the programmes to help eradicate childhood malnutrition linked to food insecurity, “I will identify multisectoral approaches and coordinate efforts to improve as key ingredients to accelerate progress on nutrition and food security programmes and work with stakeholders to implement said programme.” 

Murekezi goes on to highlight the importance of women’s nutritional status, “women are more likely to experience a healthy pregnancy and are less likely to experience life threatening complications with they are free from all forms of malnutrition when they become pregnant.” She mentions the usefulness of NNIA’s programmes in helping healthcare professionals with their day-to-day practice and highly recommends participation, “I would recommend these programmes to my peers, because they are relevant to their day-to-day clinical practices and are very educational. The explanations given are very clear and comprehensive.”