Burera, 25 January 2019
President Kagame today inaugurated the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) – Butaro Campus in Burera District. The event was also attended by other notable guests including Paul Farmer, the Co-founder of Partners in Health and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Bill Cummings of the Cummings Foundation.
UGHE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Partners in Health (PIH). The University began as a response to the health inequities that exist in global health, particularly on the African continent.
Early 2014, UGHE received US$ 30 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Cummings Foundation, and a commitment of over US$ 50 million from the Government of Rwanda in public infrastructure to build the school and sustain its students.
Speaking at the inauguration event, President Kagame highlighted that this new, cutting-edge university represents an additional investment in the human capital of Rwanda and the region.
“The name of the school, the University of Global Health Equity, tells us something critical about its mission. It is not just about producing highly-skilled medical professionals, though that is, of course, the foundation. It is also about, first, teaching students to put the human factor at the center of care. Hospitals don’t treat diseases, they treat individual people, each in his or her social and cultural context. Second, emphasizing the importance of investing in and strengthening national health systems. Instilling those principles is essential for reducing the disparities in health outcomes. We are proud to be associated with this institution,” President Kagame said.
Since 2015, UGHE runs a Masters of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD) at its Kigali city campus (21-month programme). A full-time one-year MGHD focused on leadership and management training was launched in September.
Launched today, UGHE – Butaro Campus is comprised of six buildings that include apartments for up to 200 students and staff, and an academic building. The campus counts 24 full-time students representing 12 countries; Rwanda, USA, Canada, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Lesotho, Tanzania, and Uganda. The school also has 22 part-time students at its Kigali Campus.
To date, 40 students including 35 Rwandans have graduated from UGHE.
PIH has been working in Burera District since 2009, to create a model health system that includes a new district hospital (opened in 2011) and a National Cancer Center of Excellence.