I arrived in Kigali, Rwanda on July 5th to begin my GSK PULSE assignment with Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima (PIH/IMB). My immediate first impression was the open greeting offered by everyone I met, including the baggage claim representative dealing with my lost luggage (which arrived on day 2). The PIH/IMB team extended my warm welcome while orienting me to their extensive array of programs and services. In partnership with the Rwandan Ministry of Health, PIH/IMB reaches around 900,000 individuals in 3 rural districts, employing local staff to manage a hospital in each district and 42 health centers across these same districts. This healthcare network has achieved dramatic results. In 1994, at the end of the Genocide committed against the Tutsi in Rwanda, life expectancy and infant mortality were the worst in the world. The latest data from World Population Review shows an average life expectancy of 68, while data from the WHO shows similar improvements in infant mortality. In addition to the provision of healthcare, PIH/IMB expands the provision of care through training programs at all levels of the health care continuum and through research projects designed to improve models of care.
With the PULSE opportunity provided by GSK, I will be working with the PIH/IMB research team to enhance surveillance, prevention and treatment of Hepatitis C (HCV). The Rwandan Ministry of Health has set an ambitious goal of virtually eliminating HCV in the country by 2024. Through review of existing data, attention to high-risk groups and conducting research into HCV identification and treatment adherence for these groups, PIH plans to help reach this goal. I will be learning enormous amounts from the team while hopefully sharing some of the clinical research and data analytics skills acquired through my work at GSK. I’ll keep you updated on how that learning and sharing is progressing.
View from PIH-IMB offices in Rwinkwavu