In a bid to increase the number of sonographers in the country, Kigali Health Institute (KHI) intends to set up a dedicated ultrasound training programme.
Sonographers are diagnostic medical professionals who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos.
The announcement was made, yesterday, by Dr. Desire Ndushabandi, the Rector of KHI while speaking at the International Training Workshop on Ultrasonography in healthcare service delivery, which took place in Kigali.
The four-day forum aims at providing basic training on principle, pitfalls, abdominal, small parts, paediatric, infectious, parasitic diseases and musculoskeletal sonography.
“Ultrasound modality is an invaluable tool in the provision of very basic healthcare in the current age. In this regard, it is important to note that KHI has recognised the need and intends to set up ultrasound programme,” Ndushabandi said.
He added that plans for the anticipated programme are underway and very soon it will be presented for approval.
“In Rwanda today there are a limited number of radiologists (specialist physicians) with no backup of sonographers and are only available within Kigali and there is increased number of ultrasound imaging units at several community hospitals countrywide,” he explained.
He stressed that; most of the hospitals would only use the units for obstetrics and gynaecology with limited training.
Ndushabandi noted that due to the increasing demand for education and training for ultrasound in medical practice, the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology [WFUMB], intends to establish a Centre of Excellence in Rwanda.
Dr. Richard Sezibera, the Health Minister, while officiating at the forum, said that Rwanda is pleased to host this workshop as it is an additional milestone towards achieving one of the MDGs, regarding the decrease of maternal and infant mortality rate.
“The Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Health is committed to continually improve the health services of the population through the provision of preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare with the aim of contributing towards poverty reduction,” he said.
“This goal cannot be achieved without proper diagnostic tools and in areas needed most, in this case, and most significantly, the antenatal care to the rural population”.
The forum brought together radiologists, imaging technologists, sonographers, general medical practitioners, midwives, nurses and student from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and as well professors from WFUMB.