Trish’s first update

3 November 2011

Hello from Rwanda!  On behalf of PURE, I have gotten little sleep but have definitely have been off to a running start…firstly thanks go out to Dr. Damas Dukundane, PURE’s logistics coordinator, who has definitely helped me with a lot of logistics (especially as neither of my bags decided to join me in Rwanda initially) and to Jean Paul Iyamuremye, who I have dubbed the transportation director for PURE, who has been carting me all over the country!  Yesterday I travelled to Rwamagana district and had a great meeting with Dr. Jean Claude who is the hospital director there.  I am happy to report that we secured a glowing letter of support for PURE from he and the Rwamagana district mayor which will help us with our registration as an international NGO working in Rwanda.  I also had great meetings with several members of the clinical staff at the hospital who are interested in ultrasound and I got their input in a number of areas. 

Today I was invited to attend a conference put on by the Rwandan Medical Association and the Rwandan Medical Council (physician licensing body in the country) on  continuous professional development, otherwise known as the hot topic of ‘CPD’ in Rwanda.  The Honorable Dr. Agnes Bingawaho, the Rwandan Minister of Health, opened the meeting with her perspective on the importance of continuing education and training as well as academic productivity, especially encouraging Rwandan physicians to start publishing on the huge strides the health sector has been making in the last few years.  At the meeting I got to reconnect with Dr. Michael Miller, one of the Rwandan Family Medicine Residency faculty members from the University of Colorado, to hear more about the great work and growing program he and his colleagues have created.  

I had previously met with Dr. Eugene Ngoga of the Rwandan Medical Council (RMC) during my initial visit in March, and today we reconnected to discuss official accreditation for PURE by the RMC.  I will be completing the necessary documentation in the next few days and we are hopeful that PURE may become one of the earliest recognized CPD providers in Rwanda!

Tomorrow I will start my day with meetings at the Ministry of Health and then I will head to Kibagabaga hospital which is one of the provincial hospitals very close to downtown Kigali.  There I will meet with hospital leadership and interested physicians to discuss our training program in more detail and will reassess the ultrasound machine capacity at that site.  I am excited to report that I have heard through the grapevine (a reliable grapevine that is J) that there have been brand new ultrasound machines delivered within the last week to both Kabgayi and Ruhengeri hospitals.  I will be headed there next to week so investigate in person and will definitely keep you all updated on that!

- Trish Henwood

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