Harvard to Launch Course in Rwanda
BY MARIA KAITESI
22 FEBRUARY 2012
Over 41 senior faculty members and students from Burundi, Haiti, Rwanda, and the United States gathered in Rwinkwavu, Kayonza District, to launch the Global Health Delivery course, led by Harvard Medical School in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.
This is the first time the prestigious Harvard Medical School conducts the course out of their Boston campus.
The Global Health Delivery is a course that utilizes a novel educational framework to address the global burden of disease and its complex inter-related social determinants, with the objective of empowering a new generation of leaders in the health sector to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice in health care delivery.
The Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, also a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, said that the course is an authentic and effective capacity building tool for the health sector, meant to break the vicious cycle of poverty and disease.
She said that the week-long programme is about learning what happened in other countries, comparing notes and sharing best practices and how “our own health officials can deliver better services”.
“Rwanda was chosen because there are a lot of good innovations to share, such as the role of Community Health Workers, Mutuelle de Santé, Performance Based Financing, and the success we had in maternal child survival,” she noted.
During the launch of the course, senior health officials were taught how to think strategically and broadly when it comes to designing plans and programmes for various health care interventions.
Paul Farmer, the Chair of Harvard’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and course faculty member, said there was need to learn from and work with real experts in order to build a discipline of global health.
The course will be offered twice a year, with the goal of enrolling all central level leaders in the Ministry of Health, as well as programme managers and students from around the world.
New case studies will be developed in the coming years to disseminate innovations in Rwanda’s health sector and cultivate Rwandan leaders in the emerging discipline of Global Health Delivery.
The course is conducted from Rwinkwavu Training Centre, which received logistical support from Partners In Health, an NGO affiliated to Harvard.
The Harvard programme comes barely a week after another top American university, Carnegie Mellon University-Rwanda (CMU-R), delivered its first professional development class in Kigali where it has opened a campus.