Document Type: Editorial
University of Global Health Equity, Kigali, Rwanda
The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had unprecedented reach and shown the need for strong, compassionate and evidence-based decisions to effectively stop the spread of the disease and save lives. While aggressive in its response, Rwanda prioritized the lives of its people – a human right that some governments forget to focus on. The country took significant steps, before the first case and to limit the spread of the disease, rolled out a complete nationwide lockdown within one week of the first confirmed case, while also providing social support to vulnerable populations. This pandemic highlights the need for leaders to be educated on implementation science principles to be able to make evidence-based decisions through a multi-sectoral, integrated response, with consideration for contextual factors that affect implementation. This approach is critical in developing appropriate preparedness and response strategies and save lives during the current threat and those to come.