My sincere apologies for a lack of contact for the past 5 months, I hope this email finds all of you well. After submitting all of our applications for working in Rwanda and accreditation, there was a period of little news. After the news started to come, it was at first somewhat trying, and only in the past 3 weeks or so have things been looking up again and we are still on target to launch this pilot program in September!
The hurdles we ran into relate to some changes to our programming requested by the Rwandan Ministry of Health, specifically that we deliver a diploma level course rather than a certificate. For the past two months we have been discussing options with them, and we are now awaiting the formal decision of the Senate of the National University of Rwanda(NUR) regarding our proposed post-graduate certificate level training to start as a pilot this September. Pending their approval, the Hon. Minister will review our plans and with luck will give us the formal go ahead to move forward with this pilot-certificate, and we will direct our energy towards development of diploma level programs in the future if this will better fulfill the needs of the Ministry of Health. Though these discussion slowed our progress a bit, these events were not a true setback, as it has helped us to understand the needs and desires of Rwanda better, and illuminate a path towards future programming. Additionally, we have achieved accreditation as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) providers in Rwanda by the Rwanda Medical Council (RMC), the Faculty of Medicine has approved our plans, and both the Rwandan National Ethics Committee and and Partners IRB have approved our research plans. With all this in place, we believe that the NUR will approve our plans as well and the Hon. Minister will have everything in place that she needs to feel confident that this pilot-certificate program will serve Rwandan physicians well.
Now the even better news:
– Thanks for the generosity of The International Foundation we have won a $10,000 grant to complete our pilot project in ultrasound training! Recall that our budget is around $50,000, so fundraising continues, through grant applications and individual donations, but this was fantastic news. If you can help, or know someone who can, please consider making a donation to support PURE – http://ultrasound-rwanda.us4.
– We have created a calendar of time-periods during which we need ultrasound trainers to spend 2-3 weeks in Rwanda teaching our physician colleagues to use ultrasound at the bedside. If you feel you are qualified to teach, and interested in the travel, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a link to the Doodle calendar.
– PURE welcomes two new board members, Dr. Damas Dunkundane (A Rwandan GP, currently working at the PIH/Rwandan district hospital Butaro, who has extensive experience in local development projects, international speaking engagements, and a strong interest in ultrasound) and Dr. Raja Rao (A radiologist from Oregon, currently retired, who has been working on ultrasound training at Rwandan district level hospitals (and some radiology training as well) for the past two years.). Both have been invaluable to PURE so far and bring unique skills and experience to our board.
– Three talented Rwandese ultrasound technicians will be working with us while we are in country training physicians. With their incredible image acquisition skills they will help us to give as much hands on training to our trainees as possible.
– Curriculum building is going great, with almost all lectures completed and the focus now turning to creation of a teaching guide to standardize our delivery of the material to trainees, learning adjuncts, development of written and practical examinations, and surveys.
Just 3 months until we launch this pilot! Many of you were on this list from the very first emails back in Fall of 2010, so you can join me in thinking back to the humble beginnings of PURE (almost regrettably named PUER, French for ‘to stink’). Without the dedication and and tireless work of people like Trish Henwood, a PURE co-founder, this never could have come together. The door is always open for greater involvement amongst any of the rest of you, just let me know your interest. Thanks!
Liz and the PURE team