First Lady Jeannette Kagame on Sunday joined the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) commencement ceremony for the Masters of Science in Global Health Delivery.
The ceremony took place at the University’s recently inaugurated campus in Butaro, Burera District in the Northern Province.
Mrs. Kagame together with the Health Minister Honourable Diane Gashumba joined Agnes Binagwaho, the University’s Vice-Chancellor and the faculty of the University.
Paul Farmer and Jim Yong Kim, the co-founders of Partners in Health (PIH) which initiated UGHE in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, were also present.
The First Lady witnessed the commencement of the class of 2019 and awarded the best performers.
The class of 2019 is comprised of 46 students from 11 different countries, all graduating with a Master’s of Science in Global Health Delivery.
The programme, launched in 2015, is modelled on one at Harvard Medical School and hosts professionals and educators from across academia and global health.
It focuses on leadership and management training, as well as how health delivery is shaped by societal and environmental forces.
Graduating students are expected to solve the rising global health challenges, from things like Ebola epidemic and cancer to Malaria prevalence and other healthcare challenges.
“For me, UGHE means diversity. For the first time in my life, I was studying at a university that had doctors, veterinarians, nurses, M&E specialists, accountants and more from all over the world,” said Sandra Isaro, one of the graduates.
Before the completion of their one-year master programme, students work as groups on culminating projects, also known as capstones.
For instance, Nicole Jabo, 25, assessed the financial burden of type II diabetes on adult patients in Rwanda.
Her classmate Leila Dusabe, a 27-year-old from Burundi, examined barriers to voluntary male circumcision, hoping to increase rates of a practice that’s widely viewed as a preventative measure against HIV.
Dr. Jim Yong Kim who addressed the graduates relayed the challenges of a career in tackling inequities to the class of 2019.
“The most important thing is to focus on the problem and not your problem,” he told the graduating students.
Kim challenged the students to ask themselves the nature of their responsibility to the world, the nature of the challenges they have to take on and how much they care.
That ostensibly was to urge the graduating students to look beyond themselves and emphasising that the task they were going to take on was bigger than themselves.