Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine — along with seven other U.S. medical schools and the Clinton Health Access Initiative — have joined together with Rwanda in a major seven-year commitment called the Rwandan Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program. Begun in 2012, Human Resources for Health will help address the country's severe healthcare worker shortage by increasing the number of faculty available to train future physicians and health professionals. The HRH Program will dramatically increase the number, quality, and skill level of Rwandan clinicians and health sciences educators, including medical doctors (general practitioners, specialists, and subspecialists), nurses and midwives.
“We’re pleased and honored to be among such an esteemed group of medical schools from across the country that were invited to participate in this project,” said Dr. Lisa Adams, associate dean for global health at Geisel who was, as a principal investigator for the HRH program, the first physician on the ground in Rwanda to help kick off the program in August 2012. “It is a natural fit for our commitment to global health programming at Dartmouth and the work of our Center for Health Equity at the medical school.
"The ambitious goal is to build a medical education and health system in Rwanda that will be one of the best in the world."
This substantial scale-up will be achieved with the assistance of an unprecedented consortium of top US educational institutions. Each university has committed to sending full-time faculty members to Rwanda to help improve teaching, research, curriculum development, and mentorship. The U.S. physician and nursing faculty mentors work for up to one year at three teaching hospitals in Kigali and Butare, Rwanda.
At the conclusion of the seven-year program, with thousands of Rwandan physicians and nurses having advanced their teaching, research, primary care and specialty skills as part of the educational partnership, the Rwanda Government “will be positioned to sustain the improved health workforce on its own without foreign aid,” said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health in Rwanda, and a Geisel faculty member.
According to Partners in Health Co-Founder Dr. Paul Farmer, "this (Rwanda HRH Program) is the boldest effort I've seen to make good on a central promise of global health: that the fruits of science serve everyone, especially those who bear the highest burden of disease."