Kigali, 12 May 2011
Rwanda’s Ministry of Health is in the final stages of rolling out a project that is aimed at strengthening the health system and elevate it to world standards. As the Co-founder of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the organization’s Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer explained: “this program comes from a vision originally expressed by President Kagame to President Clinton about his view of the future of health in Rwanda where everyone will be served. It’s on the basis of that vision that we are working with the Ministry of Health”.
During their meeting with President Kagame, the representative of the delegation from 16 leading American medical and nursing schools, Dr. Gowri Anandarajah of Brown University expressed his confidence in the success of this project: “I am impressed by the determination and energy of the people of Rwanda to serve their country”. President Kagame explained that Rwanda’s determination is the silver lining that comes with every dark cloud… “The people of Rwanda are determined to take the country forward and leave the past behind”.
With the support of partners, this project will provide world class standard education to a sufficient number of doctors, nurses and health managers resulting in a high quality health care system in Rwanda over a span of seven years. The project will also help to create a medical education and research base that can help Rwanda become a leading center for medical and bio technology industries.
38 Representatives of 16 leading American medical and nursing schools are in the country for a week of discussions with officials from the Ministry of Health and Rwandan medical professors to work on getting the project underway as soon as possible. Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Rwanda, Professor Patrick Kyamanywa said:
“The government is now bringing together all the health professional training institutions and with the country’s vision of becoming a middle income nation, we have to accelerate the products of our higher learning especially in medical education because this vision is hinged on a healthy population. We have been able to attract these top American universities which will help us build a vibrant and competitive medical education and health sciences system for Rwanda. The week we are going to spend together is going to help us come up with concrete ways of achieving this”.
The American schools have all agreed to work under the leadership of the Rwanda Government, to operate the program under a new set of principles that represent a break from traditional ways that US Government aid is normally given – through US NGOs. This initiative has been described as by far the largest cooperative global health effort ever undertaken between universities in the developed and developing world.