Advances Against Odds: Rwanda’s Success in Improving Healthcare

Thompson, Charles, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ku, Tsai-Hsuan, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The Sub-Saharan region of Africa has faced significant hurdles in developing a robust healthcare infrastructure. The colonial history of the region has created a distrust towards foreign intervention as well, creating more challenges for foreign aid. The varied approaches taken by different nations has led to a regional disparity in healthcare development, with Rwanda standing as a leader. Through a combination of endogenous development and foreign assistance, the nation has succeeded in providing healthcare coverage to 93% of its citizens, and vaccines to 91%. Through the integration of a scaled care system and telemedicine, citizens in the more remote regions of the nation are still able to obtain care.
As Rwanda has managed to expand access to medical facilities, there is still a limitation on the technology available. Technology usage is also limited by the surrounding infrastructure. While a more advanced machine may be available, it must be designed to function in a hospital without electricity security and limited resources to repair it. Surgical record-keeping is one process that lacks adequate technology, with data being recorded on paper. The Digitization of Perioperative Flowsheets program aims to provide a solution to allow hospital workers to transfer this data onto a database, and extract analysis. This will not only provide more secure storage of the data but will leverage modern computing power to provide impactful analysis on the surgical process.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Rwanda, Healthcare Development, African Healthcare
Issued Date: