Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in RwandaWestern University


UTUZA Aimée Joséphine’s Story

I met Professor David Cechetto in 2009, when he had organized a workshop on the issues of higher education for healthcare professionals in Rwanda. I attended this workshop as a representative from one of the development partners that supported the health sector in Rwanda. Having kept in touch with David after this workshop, I learned later that he was taking on a new project on Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Rwanda.

Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in Rwanda (MNCHR) is a project supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and is a part of the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program. Partners involved in this project include Western University, Kigali Health Institute (KHI) and the National University of Rwanda (NUR). This project aims to develop a partnership program with KHI to develop programs in pediatric nursing and midwifery. They partner with medical, nursing, and midwifery councils, as well as professional associations to help develop curriculum for maternal, newborn, and child health. The health education follows the guidelines of the Ministry of Education and works alongside KHI and NUR to offer short and long term studies to their students. MNCHR also works with the Ministry of Health, as it operates in 9 District Hospitals in the Eastern province.

 On December 18, 2012, I received a 2 year contract with the maternal newborn and child health project in Rwanda (MNCHR). Coming into this, I had two important goals:

  1. To build my knowledge in maternal newborn and child health as a public health expert
  2. To contribute in the development of the MNCHR project by helping to achieve the project goals in close collaboration with its partners

To this day, I can attest that MNCHR has provided a large amount of training for practitioners in the health system, particularly in the Eastern Province.

Healthcare professionals such as obstetricians/gynaecologists, paediatricians, anaesthesiologists, nurses, midwives, and mental health professionals can now be trained together on relevant themes that allow for their theoretical and practical improvement to respond effectively to mothers, newborns, and children in healthcare. They are trained by both the Canadian and Rwandan expert team to ensure the content is relevant and updated.

With the team of Canadian and Rwandan healthcare professionals, we hope to reduce the mortality and morbidity of newborns and children of the Eastern Province of Rwanda.