New regional varsity for modern medicine opens in rural Rwanda

Saturday January 26 2019

University of Global Health Equity

President Paul Kagame and Dr Paul Farmer unveil the plaque during the inauguration of the University of Global Health Equity in northern Rwanda on January 25, 2019. PHOTO | URUGWIRO 

By IVAN R. MUGISHA
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President Paul Kagame Friday launched a modern health science university that will train health professionals from around Africa and Asia.

The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is located in Butaro, some 95km north of the capital Kigali.

University of Global Health Equity

A classroom at the University of Global Health Equity in Butaro, northern Rwanda. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

The institution sits on a 100-hectare land that was given by the Rwandan government.

University of Global Health Equity

The plaque on the inauguration of the University of Global Health Equity in northern Rwanda. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

While details of the cost of construction have not been disclosed, the varsity was set up with funding from Partners in Health, Cummings Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

University of Global Health Equity

A classroom at the University of Global Health Equity in Butaro, northern Rwanda. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

Acknowledging the importance of partnerships, President Kagame said: “We have collaboration on scientific research to measure the impact of health interventions, and continually improve the care that our citizens receive.”

UGHE offers a master's degree in Science in Global Health Deliver as well as degrees in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

University of Global Health Equity

The University of Global Health Equity in Butaro, northern Rwanda. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

“Our next generation of doctors must understand the systems that drive social determinants of health, have the skills to strategically take initiative, and find solutions to barriers to service delivery,” said Dr Agnes Binagwaho, UGHE's Vice Chancellor.

Dr Agnes Binagwaho

Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity speaks during its launch on January 25, 2019 in northern Rwanda. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

Dr Paul Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health and a university professor at Harvard Medical School, said UGHE's location in rural Rwanda was ideal because that is where doctors are most needed.

Dr Paul Farmer

Dr Paul Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health and a university professor at Harvard Medical School, speaks during the launch of the University of Global Health Equity on January 25, 2019 in northern Rwanda. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

“It’s no accident that our campus is not in an urban city centre. We want our students to understand what it’s like to deliver care in rural settings, yes, but more importantly to look beyond what they can learn in the classroom and the clinic,” he said at the launch.

University of Global Health Equity

The University of Global Health Equity is located in Butaro, some 95km north of the capital Kigali. PHOTO | URUGWIRO

The university will offer scholarships for the master's students ranging between $49,000 and $54,000.