Harvard Medical School professor cofounds global health school in Rwanda

A Harvard Medical School professor launched a university in Rwanda, Africa, that is focused on educating students to provide quality healthcare, according to The Jordan Times.

Agnes Binagwaho, MD, PhD, cofounder of the University of Global Health Equity and senior lecture of global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the university was founded on the principle that every member of the community deserves the same level of care and opportunity, according to the report.

The university was created in 2015 in partnership with the government of Rwanda, the global health organization Partners in Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Cummings Foundation.

While the university currently only offers students the opportunity to obtain a part-time master's of science degree in global health delivery, officials said they aim to complete construction on a medical school in 2018 and will offer additional undergraduate and graduate degree programs in nursing and oral health, along with nonclinical programs in research and health management within the next few years. Current students also have the opportunity to take part in lectures taught by faculty from institutions such as Harvard Medical School, New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University and Boston-based Tufts University, among others.

Officials said roughly 250 individuals from countries across the globe competed for the 25 available spots at the university this year. By the time the university celebrates its 10-year anniversary, officials expect to have had 480 students graduate from the institution and 870 students to be enrolled, according to the report.

Officials also hope students will attend the university and choose to stay in Rwanda to provide medical assistance to residents in the community. The country maintains roughly 684 practicing physicians, or 27 percent of the 2,576 total physicians the World Health Organization recommends each country retain, according to the report.

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