We would like to announce an exciting new opportunity for practicing anesthesiologists interested in global health. The upcoming HRH (Human Resources for Health) Rwanda project is a bold approach to improving healthcare systems in this small but densely-populated East-African country. The project is a seven-year effort led by the Ministry of Health in Rwanda in partnership with the US Government and the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Funding is available for US physicians in a variety of disciplines to live in Rwanda for extended periods of time (ideally at least one year) who will function in the role of teacher and mentor to Rwandan residents and faculty. The goal of the project is to develop enough Rwandan faculty physicians such that upon completion of the US intervention after seven years, the Rwandan healthcare system is not only sustainable, but a leader in healthcare delivery in East Africa.
Anesthesiology is critical to the success of the Rwandan healthcare system as well as the success of the project. There are currently 10 anesthesiologists working in a country of approximately 11 million people. It is estimated that perioperative mortality approaches 5% in Rwanda, several orders of magnitude greater than in the US, Canada and Western Europe.
This is a fabulous opportunity for U.S. anesthesiologists to participate in a program that will improve perioperative patient safety, define anesthetic practice parameters and determine anesthetic training objectives from the ground up. In collaboration with our Rwandan colleagues, participants will determine perioperative monitoring and practice standards, define relationships with other departments such as Surgery and Emergency Medicine, and continue to adapt a curriculum for the training of anesthesia residents. The Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation, in conjunction with the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Global Humanitarian Outreach program, has been working in Rwanda since 2006, supporting anesthesia residency training. HRH will provide the necessary resources to help transform this effort into a thriving, self-sustainable program.
When non-Rwandans hear the word “Rwanda”, what immediately comes to mind is post-colonial ethnic tension and the horrific genocide of 1994. When Rwandans think about their country today they think about post-genocide healing and tremendous hope for the future. Unity and reconciliation efforts in Rwanda (based on the South African “truth and reconciliation” model) have successfully moved the population beyond ethnic strife. Rwanda today is a very safe place to live and work. The U.S. Department of State has no travel restrictions in place, and according to the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, the government of Rwanda is among the least corrupt in all of Africa. International aid dollars are pouring in from all over the world. Rwanda’s future is indeed bright. How lucky we are to have the opportunity to be a part of this monumental effort!
For more information about participation in the HRH program, please contact us at .
Thanks in advance for your interest.
Craig McClain, Marcel Durieux and Jennifer O'Flaherty