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Duke University joins effort to improve healthcare in Rwanda

Monday September 17, 2012
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The Duke University Schools of Nursing and Medicine, Durham, N.C., are among 13 U.S. schools partnering with Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to build a high-quality and sustainable health system in Rwanda. The seven-year Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program was announced by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in late July in Rwanda.

The program will help increase the number of faculty available to train future health professionals. Top U.S. educational institutions have committed to send faculty members to Rwanda to help improve teaching, research, curriculum development and mentorship. The U.S. faculty mentors will work for up to one year at four teaching hospitals in Kigali and Butare, as well as with district hospitals associated with diploma nursing programs in rural communities.

The Rwanda HRH Program is financed by grants from the U.S. government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Clinton Health Access Initiative has helped to convene the consortium of U.S. schools and health experts needed for the program.

The Duke University School of Nursing, School of Medicine and the Global Health Institute will send nurse and physician educators from various specialties to Rwanda this year. "It is exciting and such a privilege to partner with the government of Rwanda in strengthening its educational system for nurses and physicians, which will ultimately assist Rwandans to achieve a top-notch healthcare system for its people," Dorothy Powell, RN, EdD, FAAN, Duke professor of nursing, associate dean for global and community health initiatives and co-principal investigator, said in a news release.

Nurses affiliated with the School of Nursing who will participate in the program include RNs Carole Bennett, psychiatric and mental health; Marie Collins Donahue, pediatrics; Pauline Hill, neonatal intensive care; Tracy Kelly, pediatrics; Patricia Moreland, nursing education; and Linda Vanhook, adult health.

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