OB-GYN Residency Program In Rwanda to Enhance Maternal and Child Healthcare


By Adebowale Bello. Freelance Health Writer.


Partial map of Africa showing the location of Rwanda and other East African countries

Partial map of Africa showing  the location of Rwanda and other East African countries

Click on image to enlarge.



Wednesday, MAY 29, 2024. The official launch of Rwanda's obstetrics and gynaecology (OB-GYN) residency training program occurred at Rwamagana Level Two Teaching Hospital on May 24, 2024. This initiative addresses the critical need to reduce maternal deaths of which 1,700 have been recorded over the past five years.


According to the Health Management Information System (HMIS), more than half of these deaths are linked to delays and inadequate care, with two-thirds occurring during understaffed night shifts. To tackle these challenges, the Rwandan government launched the OB-GYN residency program to expand training capacity and increase the number of qualified healthcare professionals in both public and private institutions.


The residency program aims to ensure an equitable distribution of healthcare workers and aligns with the government's 4x4 Reform, which seeks to quadruple the production of healthcare workers within four years. This reform aims to meet the World Health Organization's recommendation of at least four healthcare professionals per 1,000 population and to strengthen the healthcare system. It also focuses on improving access to quality sexual and reproductive health services and addressing the needs of women and girls.


During the launch, Dr. Yvan Butera, Minister of State for Health, emphasized the importance of the program. He encouraged resident doctors to excel in their training and assured them of the necessary support. Dr. Butera noted that while OB-GYN is the first program under this initiative, additional projects are forthcoming.


Senait Fisseha, Vice President of Global Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, praised the Ministry of Health's response to healthcare workforce gaps. She highlighted that Rwanda, with only 120 OB-GYNs for a population of 13 million, needs a comprehensive approach involving nurses, midwives, general practitioners and community health workers.


Fisseha underscored the necessity of integrating the residency program with broader system and policy reforms. This includes training community health workers and ensuring young girls have access to contraception especially as gender-based and sexual violence is on the rise.


Dr. Ariella Ntadohoka, an OB-GYN resident, described the program as a significant milestone achieved through rigorous study and clinical experience. She expressed the residents' commitment to developing the skills needed to provide exceptional patient care.


The OB-GYN residency program, a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Health, the Rwanda Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RSOG), the University of Rwanda (UR) and ten Level Two teaching hospitals, will train up to 60 residents annually. This initiative marks a critical step towards enhancing maternal and child healthcare in Rwanda.


Source: The New Times


Related: Maternal Mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: A Call to Action




Published: May 29, 2024

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