Global Health Delivery Course Launches in Rwanda

On February 19, 2012, 41 faculty and students from Burundi, Haiti, Rwanda, and the United States gathered at the Rwinkwavu Hospital Training Center to launch the Global Health Delivery course, led by Harvard Medical School faculty in conjunction with the Ministry of Health of Rwanda. 

Dr. Agnès Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health and a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, described the course as an example of “authentic and effective capacity building for the health sector, meant to break the vicious cycle of poverty and disease.”

The Global Health Delivery in Rwanda course utilizes a novel educational framework to address the global burden of disease and its complex inter-related social determinants, with the aim of empowering a new generation of leaders in the health sector to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice in health care delivery. In this rigorous and stimulating scholarly environment, participants will learn from international case studies and from one another by: 

  • Analyzing case studies from around the world that detail the design, operations, and outcomes of projects to improve health care delivery in resource-poor settings
  • Engaging in deep discussions about how epidemiology, culture, economics, and politics inform the design and performance of global public health programs
  • Conducting field visits to health care delivery sites in rural Kayonza District to observe and analyze management principles

“To build a discipline of global health, research universities need to work with the real experts: those who deliver services,” said Paul Farmer, Chair of Harvard’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and course faculty member. “It’s an honor to teach and also to learn here in Rwanda.”

The course will be offered twice per year, with the goal of enrolling all central level leaders in the Ministry of Health, as well as program 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 non-governmental organization Partners In Health / Inshuti Mu Buzima, which works in close collaboration with the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, provided logistical support and funding for the pilot version of the course. The Ministry of Health availed the Rwinkwavu Training Center, which for five days has become a campus enriched by Harvard Medical School faculty.

Jean de Dieu Ngirabega, Director General of Clinical Services, who is a student in the course, commented, “I am thrilled to learn about a new way of conceptualizing service delivery.”

See also the article by Dr. Agnès Binagwaho published in the The New Times of Rwanda.