Dr Lalage Katunga holds a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology and a Masters in Public Health. Her research is focused on understanding factors that influence health-outcomes in understudied populations. She has experience working in the sub-Saharan Africa and is currently a Research Fellow at Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO. This week she stresses the importance of championing the full -picture of women’s empowerment and agency in LMICs, not just reproductive rights. One of the central challenges of global health is reproductive health.
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PUBLISHED: March 28, 2016 in The New Times – Rwanda By: STEVEN MUVUNYI
Minister Binagwaho (C)speaks as Prof. Rwamasirabo (L) outgoing chairman, and Dr Rudakemwa, the new chairman look on during the meeting in Kigali. (Steven Muvunyi)
Medics have been urged to improve their profession by prioritising the common good of the medical practice.The call was made by the Minister for Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho during the election of the National Council of the Rwanda Medical and Dental Association.Minister Binagwaho told the medics to positively brand their profession, despite the shortage of doctors and teachers’ in the country.“We need to consider how we want the population to perceive us. We have to prove that we are the right people at the right place, with the right knowledge, right ethics and the right morale,” she said.Binagwaho asked medics to be humble in order to deliver correctly.“The improvement of our profession is a continuous process. Gone are the days a doctor did and knew everything. A good doctor has to learn every day since science is an evolution,” she added.The elected national board that will serve a four-year term is composed of Dr Emmanuel Rudakemwa, the chairman, Dr Jean Claude Byiringiro, the vice chairperson, Dr Albert Nzayisenga, the secretary as well as Dr Kaitesi Mukara Batamuriza, the treasurer.The national board also includes representatives of the public medical and dental schools, dental and private practitioners among others.The voters were twenty nine provincial representatives. Prof. Emille Rwamasirabo, the outgoing chairman of the council was pleased by the progress made during his tenure and advised the new committee to work hard to impact Rwanda’s medical future.“Many professional malpractices were solved, but we still need to work on the improvement of uncaring doctors and increase the training,” he said.Dr Rudakemwa, a radiologist, newly elected chairman of the council said the new committee will work hard for quality improvement in medical practices.“With the partnership and cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the outgoing committee, we hope to take this institution to greater heights,” he said.Established in 2003, Rwanda Medical and Dental Council is responsible for the regulation of medical and dental practice in Rwanda.It is in charge of registering and licensing all medical and dental practitioners. firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The New Times -Rwanda on March 31, 2016 by HUDSON KUTEESA
Minister Binagwaho (R) explains the need to finance the health sector as Minister Gatete (C) and Jesse Joseph of USAID look on during the meeting in Bugesera. (Doreen Umutesi)Local and international experts on health financing are meeting in Nyamata, Bugesera District to discuss the desired health financing modifications and how they can be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.The two-day conference that opened yesterday is held under the theme: “Health financing reforms in the eve of sustainable development goals.”The conference attracted over 150 participants, including experts from Senegal, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, deliberating on how current health financing policies can be a stepping-stone toward achieving the SDGs.The national and international experts, especially those who have contributed in the design and implementation of health financing reforms in Rwanda are sharing current state of health financing policies and brainstorming about the future directions.Minister Gatete explains the challenges of priotising finance in the health sector.Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Minister for Health in an interview with journalists said the conference would come up with ideas on how to generate finances for the health sector and look at ways of using it efficiently.“Rwanda has achieved the SDGs, but to us, it is not enough. We want more achievements and it needs money.So these health financing experts are gathering to come up with innovations of financing the health sector and how we can use the finances efficiently.We need innovation for example electronic medical records which use ICT linked with diagnostics. Such innovations reduce the money spent or bring efficient spending. We hope to come up with solutions for the future in the global architecture of health.”Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning emphasised the importance of financing the health sector which he described as the foundation of all development in Rwanda.“The health sector is an area that we can’t avoid because it will come back and haunt us. It is the foundation of all development in Rwanda.The topic of health financing is very timely. It comes at a time when we are looking at what we have achieved in vision 2020. So, it will help us to see ways of financing the health sector and how we can work with the other financing institutions to contribute to the sector,” he said.“Investing in health sector is very important.For instance if we invest in health equipment, there will be no more going to India for surgeries and other complex medical processes.And this can save a lot of money and even bring in forex when neighbouring countries send their patients for treatment here.”He also called for innovation that will see Rwanda be able to finance such institutions without depending on support from outside countries, citing an example from last year’s budget where 66 per cent was from domestic resources, 14 percent borrowed and 20 per cent from grants.“We should think differently. We cannot expect that money will always be coming from outside all the time.We have to think innovatively towards health financing by working with partners, tapping into the private sector institutions and most importantly engaging the population.”He expressed hope that by working together, the health system can change for the better and thanked the financing partners working with the ministry of health including Global Fund, the US government, Bill Gates Foundation, Rocke Fella Foundationand bilateral donors like the Belgians among others.The Rwanda Vision 2020 considers health financial accessibility as a key priority among its strategic directionAmong the anticipated outcomes of the meeting are understanding the current status of global health financing reforms in the areas of universal health coverage and quality assurance approaches; reviewing of different approaches to ensure sustainable quality improvement and exploration of ways to link financial reforms with quality assurance and improved initiatives.The discussions from the meeting will feed into the current government process of developing a health sustainability plan for the whole health email@example.com
University of Vermont University Communications
03-29-2016By Amanda Kenyon Waite
Just before this photo was taken in March 2015, Gabriela Sarriera ’17 dared to ask Rwanda’s minister of health for a job or internship or some way to contribute to the global health leader’s work. One year later, she’s living in Kigali, helping Dr. Agnes Binagwaho research policy that affects equal access to healthcare. (Photos courtesy of Sarriera)
Life in Kigali, Rwanda.As one of six kids, Gabriela Sarriera ’17 is practiced in the art of speaking up and asking for what she wants. So when the microbiology major heard the Rwandan minister of health deliver a moving talk at the Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale last year, she waited patiently in the long line after the keynote — not to ask for a photo as others had done — but to ask for a job.“I want to know how can I help,” she remembers telling Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, a pediatrician who returned to her home country after the genocide and has helped recover a ravaged health system. Sarriera, who attended the conference as a member of UVM’s global health club, MedVida, also has plans to pursue medical school and become a pediatrician. But beyond just a career role model for Sarriera, Binagwaho is an inspiration.The minister is the 2015 winner of the Roux Prize for her work to rebuild trust in the Rwandan health system and her contribution to initiatives that have increased the country’s life expectancy by 20 years, drastically dropped the maternal mortality rate, and, now that people are living longer, is expanding care for non-communicable diseases, as well. The Atlantic has called it a historic recovery — one the U.S. could learn from.Sarriera promised the minister that if she accepted her help, she would find a way to get to Rwanda. FaceTiming from Kigali nearly 12 months after the Yale conference, Sarriera makes clear the gratitude she has for Binagwaho, who, amazingly, took a chance on the undergrad by offering her an internship, exposing her to work normally reserved for graduate students.
Healthcare for all
For three months now, Sarriera’s been immersed in learning the history of the Rwandan legal system. Why law when it’s medicine she wants to pursue? Her project expands on Binagwaho’s doctoral research, which uncovered troubling limits the colonial-influenced legal system puts on ensuring all citizens have the same access to healthcare. The path forward in the health sector means fully understanding policy that’s been shaped by a complex history.Sarriera’s work began Christmas day with a flight to Europe, where the English minor began her internship with a document search, trying to trace the history of the book of laws that’s the basis for Rwanda’s legal system.
READ MORE : http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Page=news&storyID=22598&category=four_sq