KIGALI - The establishment of Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC), which will be created through the merger of all health-related agencies, is now in the implementation phase.
This follows Parliament’s passing and gazetting a law establishing the centre.
RBC will coordinate services of King Faisal Hospital, National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Trac Plus, Health Communications Centre and the National Centre for Blood Transfusion.
Others include the AIDS Control Commission (CNLS), Medical Maintenance Workshop, the Pharmaceutical Laboratory (LABOPHAR), Drugs Procurement Agency (CAMERWA) and the International Centre for Clinical Research.
“The law gives us a transitional period of one year. We are currently working on harmonizing structures. Our long term plan is to have all these entities operating under one roof,” said the Director General of Health Communication Centre, Arthur Asiimwe.
He added that the merger is aimed at eliminating duplication of work, increase output and efficiency in delivery of services.
When contacted, the Director General of NRL, Dr. Odette Mukabayire, said that the RBC is expected to come with advanced technologies that would make the lab’s work easier.
“This will help in specialized biomedical testing, which includes virology, bacteriology, mycobacteriology, haematology and biochemistry and histopathology tests. Development of National Laboratory Network services for care, prevention and treatment will be advanced as well,” she said.
NRL is charged with overseeing and strengthening all laboratories, public and private, in terms of establishing policies, norms and standards, training of trainers, supervision, evaluation and validation of new techniques, quality assurance and quality control.
The acting CEO of King Faisal Hospital, Dr Alex Butera, was also full of praises for the merger.
“The many entities, if they work synergistically, can impact positively on the performance of KFH and other sister institutions. This can be through training and strengthening medical education and prevent duplication,” Butera said.
RBC will also be charged with coordinating and improving research activities in the fields of disease prevention, education and provision of treatment to people at all levels and enable Rwanda to participate in the vital regional and global health industry.
It will also act as a centre for health activities in the region; coordinate various health and research activities with a view to generating income in health activities.
The centre is expected to conduct trainings in all medical sciences in the country through its university.