Associate Professor Hilary Schwandt Rwanda

Associate Professor Hilary Schwandt returned from Rwanda at the end of July 2017 after a month of researching the country’s impressive family planning program.

The purpose of her trip was to analyze, recognize and share Rwanda’s successful program in the hopes that other nations could follow on its success as well.

The research was conducted in three parts to give a full understanding of Rwanda's programs; the first trip was last summer, followed by the second trip in February, and finishing with the most recent trip this summer.

“Rwanda has the most unprecedented family planning program I’ve ever seen. Particularly in a region where family planning is low compared to the world,” Schwandt said. “People are not talking about Rwanda in the family planning world, which blows my mind.”

Family planning is generally viewed as services and resources that help control the number of children a family has by using contraceptive methods. According to the World Health Organization, family planning benefits include preventing pregnancy-related health risks in women, reducing infant mortality, preventing HIV/AIDS, reducing adolescent pregnancies, slowing population growth, empowering women and families and enhancing reproductive education.

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A blog of Hilary's research experiences in Rwanda can be found at