The Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with some of the leading nursing and medical institutions in the United States, on July 21, 2012.
The medical institutions in the United States to facilitate the implementation of the Human Resources for Health Program (HRHP) in Rwanda, signed an agreement with Binagwaho that will address issues on acute human resources shortage in Rwanda and allow the country to meet these challenges while advancing the Government of Rwanda’s drive for sustainable and equitable economic development.
“The HRH program will create a new paradigm for cooperation between US academic institutions and academic institutions in Rwanda.
Instead of small scale cooperative efforts between individual academic institutions involving exchanges of a few people, it will be a coordinated approach intended to upgrade medical and nursing professions in a comprehensive way according to a national government plan,” States Dr. Binagwaho.
“This partnership is poised to build health capacity by transforming the global solidarity for the development of the health sector and the way that medical education partnerships are implemented around the world.”
The agreement follows the recent announcement by former US President, Bill Clinton, of a seven-year programme aimed at training the next generation of medical practitioners in Rwanda.
According to the statement, the HRHP representing a new model for health education and the delivery of foreign aid, will focus on 10 areas including: internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, pathology, anaesthesiology, emergency medicine, nursing and midwifery, global health delivery, and health management. The “vast majority” of medical professionals will work full-time in Rwanda for spans of at least eleven months each.
Over 100 faculty members from the American institutions will partner with Rwandan counterparts to ensure that Rwanda’s health sciences education system produces the quality and quantity of health professionals and medical faculty necessary to serve the country’s population to guarantee a sufficient supply in the future, between the year 2012 and 2019.
The HRHP is an innovative seven-year partnership between the Government of Rwanda, the United States Government, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria as well as 13 US medical, nursing and global health institutes.
A press release from the Embassy of Rwanda in Washington DC, states that the programme will bring 90 American physicians, nurses, and health managers to Rwanda in 2012 to build student education and advanced training programmes across ten priority specialties and delivery areas.
A statement from the ministry reads that after eight years, the Rwanda Government is positioned to sustain the improved health workforce on its own without foreign aid.
Rwand has made a dramatic progress in the health sector, As well as increasing life expectancy (from 28 years in 1995 to 55 years in 2010) and longer survival of people living with HIV, chronic non-communicable diseases that require specialised care are accounting for a larger share of Rwanda’s burden of disease.