US-Rwanda health project to produce 500 specialists

Rwanda is expected to have at least 500 specialists in several medical fields after seven-year Human Resources for Health Programme that was launched yesterday.

This follows the commitment by 13 educational institutions from the US which will partner with the Ministry of Health under the HRH programme to improve the healthcare system in Rwanda.

So far 49 of the medics from different institutions are already in the country to kick-start the implementation of this programme.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Education, said that with this programme, referral cases in Rwanda will reduce since the country will be having a big number of medical specialists.

He noted the US teams will be teaching and mentoring Rwandan medics thus equipping them with medical skills and strengthening their expertise.

“More highly skilled nurses will also be produced through this programme through improvement of their curriculum. Our goals are ambitious but there’s no doubt that we will not achieve them,” Biruta said.

He added that through the Human Resource for Health Programme, Rwanda was looking forward to become a model in health initiatives.

Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health noted that the team, which was around for the launch, had more than 45 medics who will be here for over a year.

He said that every US medic will be assigned a particular number of Rwandan medics to coach, teach and mentor for a particular period of time.

“Right now we have less than 30 referral cases abroad but by the end of this seven-year programme, we’ll have very few referral cases,” he said.

According to the official, the country currently has about 130 medical specialists.

He stated that Rwanda currently has 633 general practitioners, 7,286 nurses and 45,000 community health workers.

The HRH programme, which is supported by the Clinton Health Access Initiative, will help address Rwanda’s skills shortage in dental services, nursing and general medical services.

Global Fund and the US government are among the other partners helping with the programme.

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