Rwanda’s health sector has achieved important milestones in addressing some of the most pressing health challenges and burdens of disease. Efforts have been deployed in different disease programs to tackle them at the prevention, diagnosis and treatment levels but long-term initiatives have also been implemented to ensure sustainable investment and universal health coverage.
Moreover, Research has played a tremendous role in shaping Rwanda’s health system. It has helped to understand and respond to the most challenging questions, to guide the design, the implementation and the evaluation of interventions and programs, and to learn from the successes and challenges from other countries.
The combination of digital solutions, data and research , their implementation and scale are imperative to generate evidence that is highly needed to effectively inform decision makers In light of Rwanda’s remarkable response to COVID-19 and and particularly the population’s wellbeing, Rwanda’s attention is on maintaining the momentum to enhance access to equitable and quality health care services and streamline health sector operations towards effective attainment of the global health Sustainable Development Goals.
Currently, a particular emphasis is directed to showcase the role of digital solutions and provide a platform for a range of key players including academic, researchers, policy makers and implementors to reconnect, celebrate achievement and discuss opportunities to leverage lessons learned to other disease programs. Additionally, this gathering will be an opportunity for university students to network with different NGOs implementing innovative health practices in Rwanda. and subsequent appraisal to embed good use of evidence more firmly into policy-making, “Evidence synthesis and translation”.
In this framework, the Ministry of Health (MoH) through Rwanda Biomedical Center in collaboration with its partners’ including Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Partners in Health (PIH), research institutions as well as academic institutions in Rwanda, launched the annual Rwanda Health Research and Policy syposium. It is an initiative that aims at gathering annually different entities involved in health research to discuss and share research that have been conducted, and serve as a platform of exchange between academics, researchers and policy-makers. The first Rwanda Health Research and Policy Day was organized in August 2018 and gathered over 500 people from various backgrounds.
The next event is planned to be held in May 2022 under the theme “Digital solutions and Innovative Practices for Better Health””. Oral and poster presentations as well as speaker panels and discussion will guide the conference that will be attended both physically and virtually to maximize experience sharing.
Four major specific objectives include:
- Linking the health research community in Rwanda
- Lifting grassroots research
- Creating a platform to discuss the impact of research in the national development
- Promoting innovations for quality healthcare services