In 1995, a person celebrating their 36th birthday in Rwanda would have reached a major milestone: they would have outlived the country's life expectancy. More than two decades later, more Rwandans are celebrating many more birthdays. In 2017, the life expectancy in Rwanda reached 67 years. Today, Rwandans aren't just living longer, they're living healthier, too – and an innovative new collaboration is looking to build on this progress by helping to address a key gap: rural healthcare. A Commitment to a Healthier Future Ongoing health improvements start with the strong commitment demonstrated by the Government of Rwanda. By investing in health systems and universal health insurance, the country improved its citizens' life expectancy and expanded access to healthcare. As a result, the small country with a big vision climbed to 11th out of 51 African countries in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals aimed at improving health, as well as fighting poverty, protecting the environment and reducing inequality. Despite the progress made, there's more work to be done. Disparities in care still hold many rural Rwandans back from better, healthier lives. According to the World Bank, about 60 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in areas where access to care is limited, and many of them don't have transportation to reach urban or regional healthcare centers. When resource-limited public health systems can't address the critical needs of their constituents, their people, societies and economies cannot flourish. To combat this problem, the Rwandan Ministry of Health has set out to ensure that all Rwandans can access quality healthcare within a 30-minute walk from their homes. This strategy is focused on two things: building small community clinics, called health posts, in communities across the country, and increasing both the quantity and quality of healthcare services available at those facilities. Strengthening Rural Care To help achieve these ambitious goals, Abbott is collaborating with the Rwandan government through the Ministry of Health and the non-profit organization Society for Family Health - Rwanda to create a pioneering new model for the decentralization of healthcare in the country – a 'second-generation health post' that is designed to address key needs in rural areas by providing an expanded number of vital health services.