Health Professional Training and Capacity Strengthening Through International Academic Partnerships: The First Five Years of the Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Center for Global Health, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2 Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

3 Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program Team, Ministry of Health, Kigali, Rwanda

4 Office of the Dean, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

5 Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

6 Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

7 Center for Health Equity, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

8 Department of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

9 Division of Global Health Equity, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

10 Office of the Principal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

11 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry, Kampala International University - Western Campus, Ishaka, Uganda

12 School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

13 Office of the Dean and Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

14 School of Health Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

15 Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

16 Department of Ear, Nose, and Throat, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

17 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

18 School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

19 Department of General Medicine, Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

20 Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

21 Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

22 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rwanda Military Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda

23 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

24 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

25 Department of Mental Health, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

26 Department of Radiology, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

27 Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

28 Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

29 Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, NY, USA

30 Department of Pediatrics, BronxCare Health System, Bronx, NY, USA

31 Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

32 Division of Hospital Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA

33 Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

34 Global Health Leadership Institute, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

35 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

36 University of Global Health Equity, Kigali, Rwanda

37 Clinton Health Access Initiative, Boston, MA, USA

38 Clinton Health Access Initiative, Kigali, Rwanda

39 Office of Global and Community Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

40 Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

41 Department of General Pediatrics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

42 Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

43 Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

44 Department of Pediatrics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

45 sidHARTe Program, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City, NY, USA

46 Department of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, NY, USA

47 Department of Anesthesiology, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

48 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA

49 Department of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

50 Department of Surgery, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

51 Duke Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health, Durham, NC, USA

52 Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA

53 Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, NC, USA

54 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA

55 Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC, USA

56 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City, NY, USA

57 Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City, NY, USA

58 Division of Nursing, Howard University College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA

59 University of Connecticut School of Nursing, Storrs, CT, USA

60 New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York City, NY, USA

61 University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, IL, USA

62 Columbia University School of Nursing, New York City, NY, USA

63 Department of Family & Community Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA

64 Global Education and Mentorship, Office of Global Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA

65 Department of Oncology & Diagnostic Sciences, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD, USA

66 Office of Global Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA

67 Partnerships, Professional Education, and Practice, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, USA

68 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA

69 Department of Anesthesiology Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

70 Department of Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA

71 Center for Global Health, American Society for Clinical Pathology, Chicago, IL, USA

72 Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

73 Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

74 Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

75 Global Health and Research Programs, Biomedical Research Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston MA, USA

76 Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

77 Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA

78 Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity, Kigali, Rwanda

Abstract

Background
The Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program (HRH Program) is a 7-year (2012-2019) health professional training initiative led by the Government of Rwanda with the goals of training a large, diverse, and competent health workforce and strengthening the capacity of academic institutions in Rwanda.

 
Methods
The data for this organizational case study was collected through official reports from the Rwanda Ministry of Health (MoH) and 22 participating US academic institutions, databases from the MoH and the College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS) in Rwanda, and surveys completed by the co-authors.

 
Results
In the first 5 years of the HRH Program, a consortium of US academic institutions has deployed an average of 99 visiting faculty per year to support 22 training programs, which are on track to graduate almost 4600 students by 2019. The HRH Program has also built capacity within the CMHS by promoting the recruitment of Rwandan faculty and the establishment of additional partnerships and collaborations with the US academic institutions.

 
Conclusion
The milestones achieved by the HRH Program have been substantial although some challenges persist. These challenges include adequately supporting the visiting faculty; pairing them with Rwandan faculty (twinning); ensuring strong communication and coordination among stakeholders; addressing mismatches in priorities between donors and implementers; the execution of a sustainability strategy; and the decision by one of the donors not to renew funding beyond March 2017. Over the next 2 academic years, it is critical for the sustainability of the 22 training programs supported by the HRH Program that the health-related Schools at the CMHS significantly scale up recruitment of new Rwandan faculty. The HRH Program can serve as a model for other training initiatives implemented in countries affected by a severe shortage of health professionals.

Highlights

Commentaries Published on this Paper

  • The Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda – Reflections on Achievements and Challenges; Comment on “Health Professional Training and Capacity Strengthening Through International Academic Partnerships: The First Five Years of the Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda”

            Abstract | PDF

  • Reflections on Health Workforce Development; Comment on “Health Professional Training and Capacity Strengthening Through International Academic Partnerships: The First Five Years of the Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda”

            Abstract | PDF

 

 Authors' Response to the Commentaries

  •  The Human Resources for Health Program in Rwanda: A Response to Recent Commentaries

             Abstract | PDF

Keywords

Main Subjects


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