Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And education is where the focus has shifted for global health. At MEEI, global surgery means global teaching.
David Shaye, MD, of MEEI’s Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Division recently returned from a 6-week attachment with the Rwandan Ministry of Health through a program that focuses on Rwandan resident education, Human Resources for Health (HRH). The CDC/USAID funded program integrates U.S. physicians into the Rwandan medical education system, where they serve as faculty to enhance the education of local residents. Dr. Shaye saw patients in clinic, performed surgery, taught medical students, and ran a 2-week cadaver-anatomy course at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Kigali (CHUK), host to Rwanda’s only ENT Residency Program.
To teach something is to truly know it, so this is a two-way exchange of experience and information – and an investment in the health of Rwandans.
Rwanda is a country of approximately 11 million people and like most lower-middle income countries, suffers from a severe shortage of ENT surgeons as well as all categories of health professionals. The Ministry of Health has attempted to improve the situation through a renewed focus on recruiting and training residents. A limiting reagent has been the faculty-student ratio. In the ENT Residency Program at CHUK, Dr. Kaitesi Mukara is the sole full-time faculty and, along with one part-time faculty member, is responsible for teaching ten residents as well as managing the administrative demands as Department Head. Following up on the promise of a visit in 2014, Dr. Shaye is the first ENT surgeon recruited through the HRH program thus far.
Dr. Shaye explains, “To teach something is to truly know it, so this is a two-way exchange of experience and information – and an investment in the health of Rwandans.”