We need quality not quantity, from our tertiary institutions


University of Kigali graduands celebrate during the graduation ceremony last week in Kigali. Nadege Imbabazi.


RE: “Varsity students stranded as courses are suspended” (The New Times, March 17).

Shouldn’t the Ministry of Education impose stringiest conditions on those who want to set up medical schools than other faculties? Why do we have a medical school in such new institutions as University of Gitwe in the first place? To mass-produce doctors who do not know how to operate on such simple things as hernia?

I was surprised recently to hear that our doctors were learning to operate hernia from visiting doctors from overseas. Yet, I know many people who had hernia in the early nineties north of our border that were successfully operated on by local doctors who had not even studied overseas.

I also remember reading another story in this paper of another group of visiting doctors from the west that had come to train our handful heart surgeons. One of the surgeons was obviously happy for what he had learned from the Americans but was complaining that he still lacked books to consult during the operations.

Can anyone imagine himself asleep in the operation room with one or two doctors, with surgical instruments, having opened your chest, busy consulting textbooks?

I suspect there is something wrong in our medical schools. Nobody should see my comments as negative criticism as even our senators are concerned. Even though we are doing everything possible to improve our health system, we should make sure that we do it right.

Mass producing medical doctors who are not well trained is not the way to do it. We should at least try to train our doctors and bring them to the same level of other doctors in East African countries that have better medical schools than we do.

Not having many heart surgeons in our country today is understandable. However, graduating surgeons who do not know how to operate hernia is not.