Document Type : Editorial
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH, USA
University of Global Health Equity, Kigali, Rwanda
The inadequate supply of health workers and demand-side barriers due to clinical practice that heeds too little attention to cultural context are serious obstacles to achieving universal health coverage and the fulfillment of the human rights to health, especially for the poor and vulnerable living in remote rural areas. A number of strategies have been deployed to increase both the supply of healthcare workers and the demand for healthcare services. However, more can be done to improve service delivery as well as mitigate the geographic inequalities that exist in this field.
To contribute to overcoming these barriers and increasing access to health services, especially for the most vulnerable, Partners In Health (PIH), a US non-governmental organization specializing in equitable health service delivery, has created the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in a remote rural district of Rwanda. The act of building this university in such a rural setting signals a commitment to create opportunities where there have traditionally been few. Furthermore, through its state-of-the-art educational approach in a rural setting and its focus on cultural competency, UGHE is contributing to progress in the quest for equitable access to quality health services.