Rwanda health sector impresses US medics

A group of 14 medical doctors from the US are in the country for a one-week Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme have commended the progress the country has registered in improving the health sector.
American medics on a one week CME programme discuss at King Faisal Hospital. (Photo J. Mbanda)
American medics on a one week CME programme discuss at King Faisal Hospital. (Photo J. Mbanda)

A group of 14 medical doctors from the US are in the country for a one-week Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme have commended the progress the country has registered in improving the health sector.

The doctors, who are in the country on a programme aimed at providing American and Rwandan physicians with advanced knowledge on the treatment of tropical diseases in developing countries, said that government’s efforts to improve the sector and the well-being of the people was very impressive.

Speaking to The New Times, Dr. Karl Weyrauch from Seattle, Washington said that the country has efficiently handled the challenge of Malaria and HIV/AIDS and tremendously reduced the cases of death.

“Rwanda is a country undergoing amazing change and dealing with very incredible challenges created by its history, but today, it is a country that has regained progress in the economy, education, health, equality and peacekeeping,” he said.

“It is sending a message out to the world; that a real transformation of the society is possible. The most important aspect I learnt from my Rwandan colleagues is that there is a great willingness to work together, to share knowledge and open to the possibility of change; be it with new people or technologies”.

The experienced doctor who visits Rwanda at least twice a year, said that reducing malaria death and reducing cases of HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases is a sign that the government efficiently uses donor funds.

Another member on the team, Dr. Ruth Emerson, also noted that it is important to note the efforts of the government in transforming the health sector and the commitment by physicians to perform to their best.

“The most impressive thing to watch here in Rwanda is the real power of the government to change the health sector for the people and the heartfelt devotion the physicians we talked to have for their work,” said the Seattle based family doctor.

The CME conference hosted by Health Development Initiative- (HDI) Rwanda, and King Faisal Hospital in conjunction with Seattle based Group Health Cooperative, is aimed at presenting a platform where Rwandan doctors and their American colleagues can share knowledge and experiences on tropical and other diseases.

According to Dr. Aphrodis Kagaba, the Executive Director HDI-Rwanda, the group is part of several teams of doctors the organisation brings into the country from several parts of the world to share experiences with their Rwandan counterparts.

“We interested them to come and do their CME in Rwanda so they can have a chance to look at the country and also know how medicine is practiced here. We identified King Faisal Hospital as the best place they can learn from because it has the biggest number of teaching physicians,” Dr. Kagaba said.

The visiting medics cited the community medical insurance scheme, Mutuelle de Sante, as one of the best health initiatives the government has successfully implemented.

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