BREAKING GLASS: Global health, gender equity, and rebuilding Rwanda
Published by Evoke Media LLC, January 6, 2021
In a conversation with Sabrina Merage Naim and Kassia Binkowski from Evoke Media, I shared my personal journey of why I decided to return back to my country two years after the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsis.
Description: “Dr. Agnes Binagwaho did the unimaginable and returned to her home country of Rwanda just 2 years after the mass genocide of one million Tutsis. An outsider in her home country, Dr. Binagwaho worked tirelessly to save lives and was eventually appointed Minister of Health. A pediatrician by training, she has spent the past 25 years rebuilding the Rwandan health care system from the ground up, ultimately achieving some of the highest rates of pediatric vaccinations anywhere in the world. One of the only women at the table, Dr. Binagwaho shares her story of innovation and social service, how she’s shifting her focus to transform gender equity in global health education.”
Listen to the full conversation here: https://weareevokemedia.com/podcasts/ep8-global-health-gender-equity-rwanda/
Global Health in the COVID-19 Era Explored at Local Conference
Published by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, January 2021
“Some 320 attendees and 75 speakers from around the world took part in the 2020 Triangle Global Health Consortium (TGHC) virtual conference. The theme of the Dec. 3 event was “Global Health in a COVID-19 Era: Leadership in Action.” NIEHS is a major supporter of the consortium, which is based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. In her keynote address, Agnes Binagwaho, M.D., Ph.D., a former Rwanda minister of health, described her country’s success fighting COVID-19. “We’d had three Ebola alerts, so we didn’t have to invent anything,” she said. Rwanda, a country of 12 million people, has a robust testing program that identified just 6,000 cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths. Fighting a disease that spreads easily and indiscriminately requires equal access to care, Binagwaho said. “But you cannot build an equitable, resilient health system during a crisis,” she said. “Preparation is key.””
Read full article here: https://factor.niehs.nih.gov/2021/1/science-highlights/global-health/index.htm
Advance Science in Africa through Open Access Journals
Published by University World News on December 10, 2020
“Professor Agnes Binagwaho, the vice-chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, agreed with Allam and called on poor institutions to fight for open-access policies for critical health research publications. These journals should consider extending operating under a free access policy for at least 10 years to the benefit of poor research institutions, including universities, Binagwaho said.”
Read full article here: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20201209144612165
Prof. Agnes Binagwaho – Vice Chancellor – UGHE – Equitable and Quality Health Services For All
Published by Progress, Potential, and Possibilities on December 10, 2020
In an interview with ideaxme, I talk about my career trajectory, from medical education in Belgium to my role as Vice Chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity. Throughout the interview, I expand on the main principles that have driven my work in the field of global health. I highlight how an equity approach in global health is key to the successful implementation of any evidence-based intervention in global health. The University of Global Health Equity is a manifestation of this belief. As an institution with equity in its title, UGHE aims to change the way healthcare is delivered around the world through a practical, comprehensive approach to health education that puts equity at the forefront of their agenda. I also highlight the importance of prioritizing science and the safety and health of populations in responding to any health crises. This is why Rwanda has recovered rapidly following the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsis and is responding more successfully to the COVID-19 pandemic than other countries who have more resources and health system capacity.
Watch full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJnowHXPTf8
Global Leadership Coalition Mulls Foreign Policy Changes under President-elect Biden
Published by WHYY on November 16, 2020
“Coons said the U.S. should be part of the global vaccine development and delivery effort. “We must invest in a public health response globally that addresses equity and that demonstrates the sort of leadership in public health globally that we were well known for,” he said.
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, a pediatrician from Rwanda who is vice chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity was happy to hear Coons’ suggestion that the U.S. would rejoin the WHO under President-elect Biden.
“I believe that your new president will do that because the world needs to be in synergy, the world needs solidarity to face such a tragedy,” she said. She said it’s vital the coordination of vaccine distribution be done in a globally cooperative way. If not, “we will not as a planet be rid of this pandemic on time. No country will be safe if one country is not safe,” she said.”
2020 Roux Prize Celebration
November 16, 2020
I am delighted to congratulate Professor Kristin Braa and Professor Jørn Braa on being awarded the Roux Prize this year. The Roux Prize is administered by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (HIME). The Roux Prize recognizes people who have used health evidence to improve population health. As a past awardee for the Roux Prize 2015, I welcome Kristin Braa and Jørn Braa into the wonderful community of Roux Prize awardees. Kristin Braa and Jørn Braa created and manage the District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2). The DHIS2 is an open-source tool and is now the world’s largest health management information platform. Since 2012, Rwanda has used DHIS2 as the country’s Health Management Information System at a national scale. In 2014, the Ministry of Health in Rwanda launched a two-week Academy named DHIS 2. In this Academy, 80 participants from 18 countries came together to learn about the set-up, design, and maintenance of DHIS2. I look forward to fruitful future collaborations with Kristin Braa and Jørn Braa and believe that we will continue to promote the use of data to understand where we need to invest money and effort to deliver quality and equitable health care for all.
WIRED Health:Tech 2020: Latest advances and the fight against COVID-19
Published by Medical News Today on November 3, 2020
“Prof. Agnes Binagwaho — vice chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda — went on to speak of the innovations that Rwandan authorities implemented to curb the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.
Prof. Binagwaho said that the first step was to identify both the obstacles and facilitators when it came to stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
According to the expert, having a clear idea of these factors allowed the authorities to establish the best strategy for containing the spread of the virus.”
How Africa Fought the Pandemic-and what Coronavirus has Taught the World
Published by the Financial Times on October 23, 2020
“Rwanda, in central Africa, was one of the most aggressive. On January 31, it cancelled flights from China. A week after the first case slipped through the net in March, it suspended international flights altogether, closed its borders and told people to stay indoors. “This is what any country should have done,” says Agnes Binagwaho, vice-chancellor of Rwanda’s University of Global Health Equity. “We didn’t do this because we are rich. We did it because we are organised.””
Read full article here: https://www.ft.com/content/c0badd91-a395-4644-a734-316e71d60bf7
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho Recognized in 2020 100 Most Influential African Women
Hosted by Avance Media’s 100 Most Influential African Women list
Presented as a ranking of the 100 Most Influential African Women, this publication presents a summary of women who have climbed the corporate ladder, started their own businesses, or have been at the forefront of decision making both locally & internationally. Under Dr. Agnes Binagwaho’s leadership, she has driven significant contributions across global health, gender equity, and education in Rwanda and internationally.
Read full description here: https://100women.avancemedia.org/AGNESBINAGWAHO/
Vice Chancellor Prof. Agnes Binagwaho: UGHE Virtual Commencement 2020 Address
Hosted by the University of Global Health Equity on August 9, 2020
On August 9th, 2020, the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) graduated twenty-eight students from its Master of Science for Global Health Delivery (MGHD) flagship program. Given COVID-19 restrictions globally, the MGHD’20 commencement ceremony took place virtually. The graduating class was graced by the presence of the Guest of Honor, His Excellency, Paul Kagame and other guests from across the globe. Prof. Agnes Binagwaho congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to use their skills to repair the broken and inequitable healthcare systems.
Watch full address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mx_zLJgNz0&feature=emb_title
The Way Forward: What Next?
Hosted by the Atlantic, Emerson Collective, Chatham House, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics on May 28, 2020
Published by AtlanticLIVE
As part of “The Way Forward: What’s Next?” series focused on what is coming as far as long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Agnes Binagwaho joined Jeffrey Goldberg to discuss what we can do now to soften the impact of COVID on the future of Rwanda and the more vulnerable people amongst us in the world.
Watch the full conversation here: https://youtu.be/8NKtMVSqh9I?t=1802
Watch: How Rwanda got ahead of the pandemic curve
Published by Devex on April 20, 2020
By Raj Kumar
“Rwanda has so far registered fewer than 200 cases of COVID-19. According to its former health minister Agnes Binagwaho, the low numbers are due to government action that was faster than in other countries.
The vice-chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, a Partners in Health initiative that trains medical professionals for work in low resource settings, Binagwaho is a prominent voice on the global health stage. In this interview with Devex’s President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar, she tackles a number of issues related to the pandemic, including how social distancing can work in low-income countries.”
“We are not rich. We are organised. We take an approach of solidarity, and trust between communities.” – Prof. Agnes Binagwaho
Watch the full video here:https://www.devex.com/news/watch-how-rwanda-got-ahead-of-the-pandemic-curve-97038
Lessons from Rwanda for COVID-19
Published by The Emerson Collective in April 2020
“Dr. Agnes Binagwaho knows how to control an epidemic because she’s done it before.
Born in Rwanda, Dr. Binagwaho, an Emerson Collective Dial Fellow, grew up in Europe, where she earned her medical degree and a Master’s in Pediatrics. In 2006, she returned home to Rwanda to serve in the aftermath of the genocide there…
… Now, as Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, Dr. Binagwaho is training a new generation of health professionals from Africa and beyond to deliver equitable, effective health services—and build the systems that will sustain it.
Here, Emerson Collective’s Director of Global Health Equity, Cassia van der Hoof Holstein, talks with Dr. Binagwaho about her lessons for a world working to control the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can deliver on the human right to health care.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.emersoncollective.com/articles/2020/04/lessons-from-rwanda-for-covid-19/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=COVIDResources&utm_medium=Organic&utm_content=DrAgnesBinagwaho
Binagwaho calls for improved health education, gender equality
Published by The New Times on March 09, 2020
By Sharon Kantengwa
“The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), Agnes Binagwaho, has called for improved health education and gender equality if an enabled world is to be achieved.
Binagwaho said this at the TED Women’s conference on Saturday as the world prepared to celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8.
She explained that striving for equality is not enough to achieve an enabled world; but rather the solution is equity which means women promoting other women, men as their allies, supporting the most vulnerable and giving women the tools and resources to succeed.”
Read the full article here: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/binagwaho-calls-improved-health-education-gender-equality
Health Care for All Is a Global Issue
Published by Thrive Global on Feb 27, 2020
By Elizabeth Bradley and Michele M. Tugade, Ph.D.
“A student from the Burera District in the Northern Province of Rwanda, among the poorest in the country, asked, “What is the difference between hope and a miracle?”
A question more likely posed by a philosophy major on any U.S. college campus than a medical student in this post-genocide African nation. The lively and eye-opening discussion among students at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Butaro was part of a new collaboration between Vassar College and UGHE to broaden the traditional study of medicine by incorporating studies in the liberal arts…
… The goal, as Dr. Agnes Binagwaho puts it, is to build compassion among medical people for humanity and for the larger system in which medical care takes place, so that graduates may bring greater humility and a humanists’ approach to their practice.”
Read the full article here: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/healthcare-for-all-is-a-global-issue/
Pasha 49: How Rwanda rebuilt a broken healthcare system
Published by The Conversation Africa on January 15, 2020
By Ozar Patel
“Rwanda has made strides in its health sector in recent years. The country is noted for making faster than expected progress over the past 15 years in reducing deaths among children younger than five. This is the result of the work the government has done in building a strong health system and taking an inclusive approach to health coverage. But there are still challenges like maternal mortality, for example.
In today’s episode of Pasha, Agnes Binagwaho, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, discusses how building trust among the public played a key role in the success of Rwanda’s health sector.”
Listen to the full episode here: http://theconversation.com/pasha-49-how-rwanda-rebuilt-a-broken-healthcare-system-129988
Female leadership as the portal for unlocking better global health access
Published by The New Times on November 18, 2019
By Laura Wotton and Tsion Yohannes
“Hosted by the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), an initiative of Partners in Health, the 2019 Women Leaders in Global Health (WLGH19) conference last weekend in Kigali that convened over 1000 participants. Here, leaders in diverse sectors of global health met to discuss how best to change the global health gender imbalance and status quo for women within Africa and beyond…
… It brought together all tiers across the spectrum of global health; we were graced by the presence of the First Lady of the Republic of Rwanda, Her Excellency Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, Ministers, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Deans, development partners, researchers, and community health workers…
… Important to note also is the fact that, despite a conference committed to female advocacy, there was purposely a man on every panel; at UGHE we know women will not change the world without the collaboration of feminist men.
As UGHE’s Vice Chancellor Dr. Agnes Binagwaho made clear, ‘men can be our greatest allies’.”
Read the full article here: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/opinions/female-leadership-portal-unlocking-better-global-health-access
Hamwe Festival: When global health meets dance
Published by The New Times on November 15, 2019
By Gloria Iribagiza
“Curtains fell on the closing night of Hamwe Festival’s first edition that aimed at hyperlinking the connection between art and health on November 13, in Kigali.
The festival was concluded by a dance therapy session, in a collaboration of Dr Rainbow Ho, an award-winning researcher and dancer from the University of Hong Kong, and Wesley Ruzibiza, a professional choreographer and founder of Amizero Dance Company…
… Hamwe Festival was born from a need to build bridges between the health sector and that of the arts and creative industries to improve health equity…
… Speaking to The New Times, the vice-chancellor of UGHE, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, said the festival was a great success, and people should expect more.
“We are going to choose another theme. This year it was around health and gender equity, and there are so many subjects that show more difficulties than others,” she said.”
Read the full article here: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/entertainment/hamwe-festival-when-global-health-meets-dance
How Sangare, Shanel performed at Hamwe Festival
Published by The New Times on November 12, 2019
By Glory Iribagiza
“First initiated by Globe-athon, a movement dedicated to building connections with leaders on every continent to help women talk about below the belt cancers, the first… ‘She matters’ concert was held in Rwanda over the weekend. Its aim was to celebrate women, who have used their creativity to advocate and improve the health of other women…
… The concert at Camp Kigali, was organised by the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), and was headlined by Grammy award-winning Malian musician, Oumou Sangaré, and Ruth ‘Shanel’ Nirere, a France-based Rwandan singer and actress…
… Among the attendees were the Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Peter H. Vrooman, US envoy to Rwanda, Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, and the Vice Chancellor of UGHE, Agnes Binagwaho.”
Read the full article here: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/entertainment/how-sangare-shanel-performed-hamwe-festival
Agnes Binagwaho on advancing gender equity in health
Published by CNBC Africa on November 5, 2019
“It’s no secret that there are far less women than men in boardrooms and leadership positions in general and the global health sector is no different, with women making up 70 per cent of the global health workforce and only 5 per cent of top leadership positions. Ahead of the Annual Women Leaders in Global Health Conference happening this week in Kigali – Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho joins CNBC Africa to unpack the importance of dialogue and community in shifting the balance.”
Watch the full interview here: https://www.cnbcafrica.com/news/east-africa/2019/11/05/agnes-binagwaho-on-advancing-gender-equity-in-health/
Rwanda’s Model: Progress, With More Work Ahead
Published by U.S. News & World Report on September 5, 2019
By Prue Clarke
“KIGALI, RWANDA – A heavy evening rain beats on the tin roof of Fabrice Irakoze’s modest two-room mudbrick house on a hill on the outskirts of Kigali, the Rwandan capital…
… Partners in Health played a pivotal role in the transformation here. The organization began when three young American medical students were volunteering in Haiti. Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl and Jim Kim, (the future World Bank president) realized there were serious shortfalls with the way traditional aid was delivering medical support to people in poor settings…
… As Partners in Health saw it, international aid efforts, conceived in Western capitals, had no understanding of the realities on the ground. The team trained people from local communities – often HIV patients themselves. Those health care workers provided food, counseling, transport and other needs that had prevented patients from receiving treatment. Their pilot projects saw dramatic results. Almost all the HIV patients survived.
Some of the biggest names in public health initially questioned PIH’s results. They claimed people in poor countries couldn’t be trusted to deliver the anti-retroviral drugs. It was a stand that struck many, including then-Rwandan Heath Minister Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, as racist. “This debate, ‘because they are from a poor country they should not have access to treatment’ make me furious,” Dr. Binagwaho says in an upcoming film, “Bending The Arc.””
46 Students Graduate At University Of Global Health Equity
Published by KT Press on August 11, 2019
By Jean de la Croix Tabaro
“Today all roads led to Butaro sector in Burera district, a soothing area in the Northern Province, the home to University of Global Health Equity (UGHE). The university has held the third graduation which includes 46 students – class of 2019 – from 12 countries, all graduating with a Masters of Science in Global Health Delivery. At this graduation, the First Lady Jeannette Kagame who was the guest of honor awarded the two best students…
… Dr Agnes Binagwaho, University vice chancellor said that she was satisfied with the achievement of this class. “You have worked incredibly hard. You have made sacrifices. You met several challenges to reach graduation milestone,” she said. “I hope you will take time to celebrate this accomplishment. We are incredibly proud of you.”
Read the full article here: https://ktpress.rw/2019/08/46-students-graduate-at-university-of-global-health-equity/
Leading Minds Reflect on How the World Feels About Science and Health
Published by Technology Networks on July 08, 2019
By Michele Wilson PhD
“Gauging global attitudes to science and health is no easy task, but it was the goal of The Wellcome Global Monitor – a survey of over 140,000 people aged 15 and older, from more than 140 countries. On Wednesday 19th June, the Wellcome Trust released their report on the survey that was implemented in 2018. The results reveal some fascinating insights into how people around the world think and feel about science and major health challenges….
… In Washington D.C., a live panel discussion marked the launch of the survey, featuring:
• Imran Kahn, Wellcome’s Head of Public Engagement
• Mae Jemison, physician, engineer, social scientist, astronaut for six years (also the first woman of color in space), founder of an international science camp on science literacy called The Earth We Share
• Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President & Chief Patient Officer, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health, Merck
• Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity, Rwandan paediatrician, Ministry of Health of Rwanda 2011-2016…
… Binagwaho, who served as the Minister of Health in Rwanda for five years (2011-2016), emphasizes the value that lies in taking time to build trust and lay the foundations before implementing any public health campaign, i.e. “the way we proceed to provide health services.””
Published by Skoll Foundation on June 20, 2019
“Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, believes that healthcare is a basic human right, no matter where that human may live. As a practicing pediatrician, she saw babies die when their parents were too poor to access care. The University of Global Health Equity is creating a new healthcare paradigm—one where doctors are culturally sensitive and take a holistic view of a patient’s environment and the social determinants of health.”
Published by Axios on June 20, 2019
By Eileen Drage O’Reilly
“As measles spreads and public officials try to prevent the disease from becoming endemic in the U.S. again, a debate is heating up nationally over whether to mandate vaccines or keep in place laws that allow for more individual choice. …
… The big question: Agnes Binagwaho, a Rwandan pediatrician and the vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, asked her fellow panelists at the Wellcome briefing…
“All those people who discredit vaccination — and kill people — why don’t you make them accountable?”
This led to a panel discussion on whether vaccines should be mandated.
Binagwaho said, “Never make them mandatory, create the demand [instead], because [making it mandatory] is believing they are bad parents, and that’s just not true.” (Rwanda has one of the highest levels of trust on vaccination safety, at 94%. This compares with North America at 72%, per the survey.)”
Published by Thrive Global on June 19, 2019
By Pat Mitchell
“Last month, I wrote a preview of the Connected Women Leaders (CWL) Forum that Ronda Carnegie and I convened in April at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio conference center on Lake Como. The purpose of the CWL Forum was to connect women leaders from the frontlines of government, culture, media, the arts, business and civil society from around the world to shape a global agenda for women in 2020…
…Access to family planning and reliable health care is central to women’s empowerment, reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda, talked about the many challenges to delivering equitable health solutions and critical services for women and girls around the globe, including the growing threats worldwide to reproductive rights. Many of the Connected Women Forum leaders will be participating in the Women Leaders in Global Health conference in Rwanda in November, convened by Dr. Agnes and next month, we will be both be continuing this conversation at the Aspen Ideas: Health conference.”
Published by Vassar Stories on April 12, 2019
By Larry Hertz
“Vassar College and the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), an innovative medical school in Rwanda, have forged a partnership that will help the medical school blend the liberal arts into its curriculum, officials from both institutions announced today.
In a ceremony on the Vassar campus, Vassar President Elizabeth Bradley and Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor of UGHE, signed an agreement forming the unique partnership. The alliance calls for members of Vassar’s faculty to teach classes in the humanities and sciences that are part of the liberal arts component of UGHE’s medical school curriculum. Following the signing, President Bradley and Dr. Agnes Binagwaho planted a Rwandan flag amidst flags of other African countries represented in Vassar’s student body.”
Dr Agnes Binagwaho: The Heart of Healing
Published by The Bridge – The Aspen Institute on April 12, 2019
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho served as the Rwandan Minister of Health for 5 years, and she is now a leader in the fight for global health equity. Hear her thoughts on creating better health systems and the value of women in leadership.”
Find the full episode here: https://the-bridge-from-the-aspen-institute.simplecast.com/episodes/d63fc939-d63fc939
Published by Doxomity on March 25, 2019
“At the 50th Annual Meeting for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology on Women’s Cancers (March 16-19) in Honolulu, HI, the invited presidential speaker, Agnes Binagwaho, MD, PhD, spoke about the need for physicians to pursue political activism. …
…‘What I took away from the talk is that political activism is incredibly important,” said Bobbie J. Rimel, MD, a gynecologic cancer researcher and associate director for Gynecologic Oncology Clinical Trials Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “As a person not in policy, I need to be aware of what strategies are being voted on in my area in regards to health policy. Prior to this talk, I was aware that school-based vaccination might be important, but it did not register for me as it does now. Now, when I’m looking for mayor, city, school board candidates — any space in which health policy would be discussed — I need to demand school-based vaccinations, which is basically how she accomplished such high school-based vaccination rates.’”
Published by Wellesley College on March 10, 2019
“The former Rwandan Minister of Health and executive secretary of Rwanda’s National AIDS Control Commission, Binagwaho is a champion of global health. Born in Rwanda and raised in Belgium, Binagwaho returned to Rwanda in 1996, two years after the Rwandan Genocide, to work as a pediatrician. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and vice chancellor of Rwanda’s University of Global Health Equity.
Advocating for the health and rights of those in need since she visited Haiti in 1983 at age 18, Ophelia Dahl DS ’94 is a pioneer in improving global health and human rights. She is co-founder, along with Paul Farmer, and board chair of Partners In Health, a leading nonprofit health organization working to improve sick and impoverished communities around the world, including in Haiti, Rwanda, and Peru.”
Published by OpenCanada on March 7, 2019
By OpenCanada Staff
“This International Women’s Day, we asked 10 Canadian or Canada-based women working on international issues to reflect on those who inspire them.
From Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland being named Foreign Policy’s Diplomat of the Year, to the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the record wins by women candidates in the US 2018 midterm elections, this past year has put a spotlight on women in prominent political, diplomatic and economic roles. But even in a country like Canada, with a self-declared feminist prime minister and a push for mainstreaming a gender approach across all areas of government, we know change is still slow when it comes to women receiving equal opportunity.
With that stark reminder in mind, this International Women’s Day, we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate women working on global issues who are already making change in their own way. In particular, we wanted to highlight a group of women whose names may not come immediately to mind, from all corners of the globe. To do so, we asked 10 Canadian or Canada-based women — from climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe to Nobel Women’s Liz Bernstein — to nominate just one woman they would like to see receive more attention this year. Their responses serve as a reminder of the countless women around the world whose work inspires.
1. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwandan pediatrician.
— Andrea Reimer, former Vancouver city councilor
I have never met Agnes Binagwaho, but everyone who has spoke of her to me has done so in the kind of tone reserved for Mother Theresa — not the eventual saint but the simple woman who stood 10 times taller than life to martial an army, afflict the comfortable and work her fingers to the bone to help those in need…”
Published by The Harbus on March 6, 2019
“Is the African continent not the best destination after graduation for MBAs? According to HBS’s career location statistics, it seems that less than 1% of students have chosen to pursue careers in Africa over the recent three years. We were left pondering this question as we saw very few non-African HBS students attending the 21st Annual Africa Business Conference held on February 15 and 16. The conference theme was ‘Africa Forward: Forging New Alliances for the Future.’ As the theme indicated, the panels covered a variety of sectors in Africa including entrepreneurship, finance, infrastructure, healthcare, education, agribusiness, and consumer packaged goods…
There should be reasons, or ‘myths,’ which may be preventing our classmates from getting actively involved in business in Africa. The typical myths, we assume, would be: You can’t really make money in Africa due to consumers’ low purchasing power. Products with quality and brand are not a good fit for African consumers.
The need for social impact in Africa can be served solely by the public sector.
Poor regulatory systems across the African continent hinder private actors to enter the markets.
… The second myth was dispelled by the panel ‘The Role of the Private Sector in Improving Healthcare Quality’ led by Dr. Nwando Olayiwola, a Chief Clinical Transformation Officer of RubiconMD. She asked the audience in the room to stand up and questioned ‘How many of you believe that we can achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030? If you don’t, sit down.’ Upon recognizing that some of the audience still remained standing, she continued, ‘Now, if the ‘Coverage’ means the one with the same standards as high-income countries?’ Everybody sat down except Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the former Minister of Health of the Republic of Rwanda. She said, “We can, if we change the way.””
Published by Just Love by Monsignor Kevin Sullivan on February 15, 2019
Interview with Monsignor Kevin Sullivan on February 15, 2019
“On this week’s episode of Just Love, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan talks about equitable and quality healthcare and women in government.
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M (Ped.) Ph.D. is a Rwandan pediatrician who serves as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, an initiative of Partners in Health focused on changing the way health care is delivered around the world by training the next generation of Global Health professionals who strive to deliver more equitable, quality health services for all. Dr. Agnes talks about the training provided at the university and how it can help change health care around the world.”
Published by Harvard Medical School on February 6, 2019
By Jake Miller
“When his plane touched down in Rwanda on Jan. 24, George Q. Daley became the first dean of Harvard Medical School to travel to Africa to witness the life-changing work of his colleague Paul Farmer, the Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS.
Accompanied by a group of HMS faculty, staff, advisors, alumni and supporters, both Daley and Farmer were in Africa to celebrate the completion of the physical campus of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), an initiative of Partners In Health. Farmer is also co-founder and chief strategist of Partners In Health…
…Through its educational efforts and under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Agnes Binagwaho, senior lecturer on global health and social medicine in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS, and Dean Abebe Bekele, UGHE aims to help fill shortages of health care providers and researchers in low-resourced settings. Such shortages are critical drivers of health inequity worldwide.”
Published by the Conversation on February 5, 2019
By Moina Spooner
“A new university of health sciences is being launched in Rwanda. The University of Global Health Equity is being touted as a centre that will “contribute to addressing the critical shortage of health professionals” and “ensure they remain committed to the continent”. The Conversation Africa’s Moina Spooner spoke to the University’s Vice Chancellor, Agnes Binagwaho, about why Africa has a shortage of health professionals and what can be done to overcome it.
‘The University of Global Health Equity will educate health professionals with the extra skills that they need, including managerial and leadership skills. They will also have a better understanding of the social determinants of health – for instance understanding that where people live may be causing an illness and addressing it – and all the principles of building a health system that ensures everyone can access services.’”
Published by CNBC Africa on January 31, 2019
“According to the World Health Organization, the ratio of physicians to patients is 1 per every 1000 in Africa, This, denying many a chance to quality healthcare. CNBC Africa sat down with Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor for the University of Global Health Equity for a look at that and raising the numbers for female enrolment in the medical field.
‘Every place where our students will go, we will create a forest of social justice and better care…one seed at a time.’”
Published by KT Press on January 25, 2019
By Jean de la Croix Tabaro
“From Davos where he has been attending the World Economic Forum (WEF), President Paul Kagame has inaugurated the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) located in Burera district – Northern Rwanda.
Kagame told participants at the event – Friday, that his presence is a testimony he attaches to the school and a very big importance because it was not that easy to make it…
…‘Paul Farmer and the Partners in Health team, together with Rwandan partners, have once again demonstrated, that they follow through on their commitments, and get things done. Your efforts are raising the standard, globally, on equity in healthcare,’ Kagame said.”
Published by Politico on January 27, 2019
By Sarah Karlin-Smith
“BUTARO, Rwanda — Three hours along a bumpy dirt road from the capital of Rwanda, a new medical school is emerging from the unlikeliest of places — a small hilltop in the poor farming village of Butaro. The school’s name reveals its ambitious mission: The University of Global Health Equity…
The university’s medical program is starting small, around 25 to 30 students, carefully curated to select those who are likely to work in underserved areas after graduation. Binagwaho’s aims to reverse the brain drain, and her ideal student is one who would be a competitive candidate at the top medical schools in the West — but who is more committed to serving needy communities. Financial aid will help students avoid the “loan trap” that would propel them to wealthier areas and higher salaries…
…‘It will teach them the importance of providing quality care where the people live,’ explained Binagwaho. And, she added, it instills cultural humility and empathy.”
Published by The East African on January 26, 2019
By Ivan R. Mugisha
“President Paul Kagame Friday launched a modern health science university that will train health professionals from around Africa and Asia.
The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is located in Butaro, some 95km north of the capital Kigali…
…‘Our next generation of doctors must understand the systems that drive social determinants of health, have the skills to strategically take initiative, and find solutions to barriers to service delivery,’ said Dr Agnes Binagwaho, UGHE’s Vice Chancellor.”
Published by Partners In Health on January 18, 2019
“The University of Global Health Equity will be celebrating so much more than a new campus at its landmark Jan. 25 inauguration in northern Rwanda…
…All of that synergy empowers UGHE with opportunity—for students, staff, and partners; for patients, communities, and countries. Opportunity for a brighter future, and for aspiring doctors who otherwise would not have the chance to pursue their dreams. For people who thought medical school would never be within their reach. For patients who thought high-quality care would never reach them, and who thought their disease was a death sentence.
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, UGHE’s vice chancellor, said the realization of UGHE’s vision will affect far more than academics, and far more than Rwanda alone.
‘Together we are assembling the building blocks of a university that will contribute to the transformation of health service delivery, through education, mentorship and research, in every corner of the globe,’ she said. ‘This year, the University of Global Health Equity has progressed further and faster than any of us could have imagined.’”
Published by Festival Boca on January 9, 2019
“Long before she served as health minister of Rwanda (2011-2016), Agnes Binagwaho tried to lock a fellow pediatrician in a hospital room.
Dr. Agnes had spotted the doctor in an exam room with a mother who was cradling her sick daughter. The doctor was asleep.
Appalled, Binagwaho examined the girl herself in a separate room, then asked a nurse to lock the doctor in the exam room where he was sleeping. It did not win her any points with the medical staff, who ‘found me more guilty for trying to close him in that room for the night than him for mistreating the kid who could have died.’…
…Today, Dr. Agnes is Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, which trains the next generations of health care workers to provide services in the poorest of communities.”
Published by The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness on November 28, 2018
“On World Sight Day in October Ambassador Aubrey Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, convened the first meeting of the UN Friends of Vision group. It followed considerable efforts by Clearly, the organisation founded by James Chen to persuade governments to take notice of the crisis of poor vision, to get vision on the UN’s agenda.
Representatives of 10 countries from every continent attended. Alongside Antigua and Barbuda, Ambassadors and senior diplomats from Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Dominica, Grenada, Rwanda, St Kitts & Nevis, Surinam, and the UK all attended…
…Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity and former Minister of Health in Rwanda, excited the group as she explained how with determination and goodwill it has been possible to deliver primary eye care for all in Rwanda.”
Published by Devex on November 28, 2018
By Catherine Cheney
“SAN FRANCISCO — Three district hospitals in Rwanda have managed to bring maternal deaths down to zero — in part thanks to technology…
…Zipline’s first customer was the Rwandan government, which it partnered with to establish the first national scale drone delivery network.
‘The government chose blood delivery because it was one of the most complex and yet critical parts of their medical supply chain and they needed help,’ said Brittany Hume Charm, head of global health partnerships at Zipline…
…‘Blood is so precious, and sometimes the roads are not functioning, or even if the roads are functioning it takes four hours and it’s too late,’ said Agnes Binagwaho, the former minister of health from Rwanda, who signed the deal with Zipline.
She saw the potential for drones to connect storage facilities with delivery points across the country, and used government funds to cover the cost of the service fees.”
Published by CNN on November 15, 2018
By Dr Agnes Binagwaho
“President Xi Jinping recently described myopia as an epidemic affecting China’s younger generations.
There are now an estimated 720 million Chinese citizens with uncorrected poor vision, according to Dr. Xun Xu at the Shanghai Eye Hospital. Short-sightedness increases dramatically with age; it affects over half of children aged 10, 80% of 16-year-olds and over 90% of university students in China…
…In Rwanda, during my tenure as minister for health and thereafter, we executed a plan that has provided all 12 million citizens with the option of accessing glasses. The glasses cost as little as $1.50 and are provided free for the poorest 20%…
…The key strategy was training nurses at regular health centers to deliver sight tests and prescribe glasses.”
Published by BMJ on November 14, 2018
By Duncan Smith
“Agnes Binagwaho is a Rwandan paediatrician with a mission to transform healthcare in the country of her birth. Brought up and trained in Belgium after her parents left Rwanda when she was 3, she returned in 1996, just two years after civil war and the mass slaughter of the Tutsi people had left Rwanda devastated. Her life has since been dedicated to improving health quality and access—first in HIV and then at Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, where she served as permanent secretary and then as minister of health, from 2011 to 2016. She is now vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Kigali, which she cofounded. Through health sciences education she now hopes to have a global impact on health…
…‘I prioritise working for people in need and finding joy in the long hours, by surrounding myself with experts and colleagues who approach this work as I do: with humour and hope.’”
Published by Women Leaders in Global Health on November 13, 2018
By Elmien Wolvaardt
“Dr Agnes Binagwaho was Minister of Health during the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She is now the Vice Chancellor and Cief Executive of the University of Global Health Equity, where support for the vulnerable is at the top of the agenda. In the run-up to the WLGH conference, she spoke with Elmien Wolvaardt Ellison about the transformation of the Rwandan Health Service, her plans for the next Women Leaders in Global Health Conference and the childhood experience that set her on this path to excellence in global health…
…If you had to give advice to women who know they have potential and what they can do, but are facing obstacles, what would you say to them?
Never give up. Follow your passion, with integrity. You will always make it. And if you don’t make it, you will make the way easier for others.”
Published by The Medical Futurist on August 29, 2018
“Rwandans in remote villages are using an artificial intelligence-based algorithm on their mobile phones to get a diagnosis for their health problems, doctors in Kigali consult their colleagues in the Western Province about radiology cases through telemedicine, blood is delivered by Zipline’s medical drones, and a central electronic health records system ensures data is collected about health activities. Rwanda is a pioneer in digital health in Africa – a real Afrofuturistic embodiment of Black Panther‘s Wakanda. Let’s see how and why that happened…
…A great example was when Agnes Binagwaho, former Minister of Health held discussions on Twitter about the healthcare state of Rwanda using the #MinisterMondays hashtag.
‘What amazes me about countries like Rwanda is that they have strong, focused leadership and the government really wants to improve the lives of the average Rwandan,’ noted McNeill. She also believes that for the sustainability of digital products such as babyl, it is essential to understand how it’s going to be paid for in advance – and in most African countries, it’s either paid for by the patient in pocket expenses or by the government, she said.”
Published by Gates Notes on August 7, 2018
By Bill Gates
“In 1994, Rwanda was torn apart by a brutal genocide that killed nearly one million people. Its economy and health system were in ruins. Many of the country’s doctors and health workers had been killed or fled. Fewer than one in four children were vaccinated. A cholera epidemic swept through refugee camps. It had the world’s highest child mortality rate and the shortest life expectancy. Rwanda’s future appeared bleak.
Today, Rwanda is a stunning global health success story—one I often cite when I’m asked about examples of health and development progress. More than 97 percent of infants are vaccinated. Rates of child mortality, maternal mortality, and deaths from tuberculosis, AIDS, and malaria have all plummeted. Its health system has become a model for other nations to follow.
Many people were involved in making this dramatic turnaround possible—from government leaders to health workers to the people of Rwanda themselves. Even today, Rwanda hasn’t let up; the country is determined to build on its gains. But the story of Dr. Agnes Binagwaho is a great illustration of what it took to make this transformation possible.”
Published by Devex on June 15, 2018
By Jenny Lei Ravelo
“WASHINGTON — Global health programs often have a common structure: Donors come in and deliver funding, then money trickles down to a global institution or an implementing organization that develops programs based on what they think is needed on the ground.
But despite good intentions, health programs don’t always get the full picture and end up missing critical points of intervention.
‘Unfortunately, health programs are not focused on the patient,’ said Agnes Binagwaho, vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity and former health minister of Rwanda.”
Published by Devex on June 11th, 2018
By Adva Saldinger
“WASHINGTON — When the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief funds first arrived in Rwanda in 2004, the country had many people with little access to treatment. But the way the government used the funds has created a lasting legacy for its health system, in part due to the work of Agnes Binagwaho.
Binagwaho, now vice chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity and former Rwanda minister of health, is a strong advocate for countries using donor funds to further their country plans. And while it wasn’t always easy, she worked for PEPFAR funds to contribute to holistic improvements in Rwanda’s health system, rather than only serving those with HIV/AIDS or going to build parallel systems, she told Devex.”
Published by Metropole Tele on April 23, 2018
By Georges E. Allen
In September 2015, Partners In Health took the first steps in realizing a long-sought aspiration — to create a university that would advance the cause of global health equity by training a new generation of transformational leaders in health care.
Published by TEDMED Blog on April 20, 2018
By TEDMED Staff
“In her 2017 TEDMED Talk, Rwanda’s former Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, shed light on the experience of rebuilding Rwanda’s health system after the devastating 1994 genocide. We talked with Agnes to learn more about her past efforts and to find out what she’s working on today.”
Published by Le Nouvelliste on April 18, 2018
By Frantz Duval
“Son boubou, tenue traditionnelle africaine, est éclatant. Beaucoup de vert et du jaune. C’est la première chose que l’on voit d’elle.
Très vite, ses reparties prennent le dessus. Sa bonne humeur contagieuse, ses idées claires et bien articulées accrochent. Elle a un-je-ne-sais-quoi d’engageant.
Vous conversez deux minutes avec elle, vous saisissez sans peine que vous avez affaire à un leader et à une professeure de médecine.
En fait, on voit moins le médecin, surtout l’acteur du changement, pas dans le domaine de la santé, mais dans celui du développement au sens large. Elle vient du Rwanda, pays qui a inventé une autre façon de faire. Elle l’explique très bien.
Ancienne ministre de la Santé du Rwanda où elle a été aux affaires pendant plus de 14 ans dans la haute administration, elle est aujourd’hui rectrice de University of Global Health Equity (Université de la santé globale basée sur l’équité) et c’est à ce titre qu’elle est de passage en Haïti.”
Similar articles have been published by Le Nouvelliste
Published by SciDev.Net on February 21, 2018
By Davison Mudzingwa, Eric Murinzi, Ignatius Ssuuna
“Agnes Binagwaho: ‘The science of implementation is neglected’
She is a paediatrician and Rwanda’s former Minister of Health, widely credited with transforming the country’s health system during a five-year term that ended in the summer of 2016.
She implemented a set of measures, such as universal health insurance and networks of community workers, which added up to a system bringing impressive gains in indicators from AIDS life expectancy to malaria treatment rates.
She spoke to SciDev.Net this month in Kigali, where she is now vice-chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity, about the role of science and technology in bringing about the transformation.”
Published by the University of Washington Department of Global Health on December 7, 2017
By Maryska Valentine and Caroline Liou, Department of Global Health, University of Washington
“It’s fair to say that Dr. Agnès Binagwaho — MD, M(Ped), PhD, Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), former Minister of Health of Rwanda, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) — is among the world’s foremost global health champions of our time. Dr. Agnès, as she likes to be called, was recently in Seattle where she gave a talk for UW students on “Transforming Global Health Through Education”. We had the chance to talk global health with her and get her take on effective approaches to global health and why health is key to development.”
Published by Partners In Health Canada on December 4, 2017
On May 17th, 2017, Partners In Health Canada and Hart House at the University of Toronto hosted a breakfast conversation with Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, co-founder and Vice Chancellor of Partners in Health’s University of Global Health Equity and the Minister of Health to Rwanda from 2011-2016.
Published by The New Times on September 15, 2017
By Peterson Tumwebaze
“Rwanda pediatric association, an umbrella for pediatricians in the country, says there is need for more pediatricians in the country to help improve children’s health… Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the chair of Rwandan Pediatric Association, urged her counterparts about their responsibility towards supporting the education of more medics in the country to have more pediatric experts.
‘We need more specialised nurses, pediatric oncologists, and other specialists in children health matters so as to curb unnecessary children deaths,’ she said. She called for improved nutrition among pregnant women to enable them produce healthy children, provision of reproductive health information to teenagers to avoid teenage pregnancies, as well as supporting them in case they get pregnant.”
Published by Financial Times on August 23, 2017
By Lionel Barber
“The FT editor visits an African country determined to go its own way as its steely president marks another landslide election victory…It is my maiden visit to Rwanda, a country the size of Wales where everyone wears shoes, plastic bags are banned and the armed forces are perhaps the most feared in Africa. But here women enjoy equal rights to land ownership and the cabinet is packed with female talent. One irrepressible role model is Agnes Binagwaho, the former health minister, who is our introductory guide to democracy, Rwandan-style. As we wend our way north from Kigali, past rolling hills and lush countryside, I am struck by the orderliness of the villages and little towns. Every last Saturday of the month, the people go to work on behalf of the country, cleaning the streets or assisting in construction. ‘We’re more efficient than the Chicago school of finance that screwed up the world,’ says Binagwaho.”
Published by Techonomy Health on May 30 2017
This is an interview by Claudia González Romo of UNICEF and the Vice Chancellor at the University of Global Health Equity.
Published by Salzburg Global Seminar on May 24, 2017
“…. former Minister of Health in Rwanda, highlights examples of palliative care existing in hospitals. Binagwaho, however, says the majority of people are dying at home without clinical support. She says people should be able to die at home with technical assistance and have a good clinical accompaniment. This process could ensure people could die at home without pain and in comfort.
….. was a participant at Session 562 – Rethinking Care Toward the End of Life. This session was part of the long-running Health and Health Care Innovation series. It was held in partnership with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and the Mayo Clinic. For more information, please visit www.salzburgglobal.org/go/562”
Published by The New Times on April 9, 2017
By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti
“Rwandans and Africans in general are set to benefit from an increase in well-trained health professionals from the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) that will, this year, graduate its first class in Rwanda.
….. next year the university will open a medical school in Burera district to provide undergraduate education. Plans are also underway to open a campus close to Masaka Hospital in Kigali with the goal of transforming it into a teaching hospital.”
Published on July 7, 2016
In this interview, Marie Angele Touré asked me several questions about the magnitude of the task of being a Health Minister in Rwanda and on some challenges, such as malaria. She also asked about how my colleagues and I are able to do this. I responded by explaining how, here in Rwanda, all Ministries of the social sector are working together in synergy in order to improve the health of our people.
Published on January 4, 2013
By Maeve Shearlaw
“Every other Monday, Rwanda’s health minister, Dr Agnes Binagwaho (@agnesbinagwaho) takes to Twitter for her #Ministermondays Twitter chats. The minister says on her blog: “It is so important for Rwandans to be able to communicate with their government. In the Ministry of Health and throughout the central government, we strive for transparency, accountability, and accessibility.” Demonstrated in this Twitter exchange, the minister and her team respond directly to questions that come in.”
Published on March 8, 2014
GAVI Alliance has supported for national introductions marks new HPV vaccine.
Published in March, 2013
Dr. Agnes Binagwaho explains how political commitment to high immunization coverage help a country more than halve child mortality.
Published on March 12, 2013
Rwanda, first sub-Saharan African country to introduce measles-rubella vaccine nationwide with GAVI support.
Published on March 21, 2012
By Merrill Goozner
Published on May 25, 2012
Rotavirus vaccines protect children from severe and deadly diarrhea, a major step for the children of Rwanda as this vaccine will save even more lives.
Published on October 14, 2012
By Joyce Lau
In the section titled, “Medical schools join effort in Rwanda”, the article says, “‘For the first time in history, the U.S. government has allowed for the direct government transfer of funds to a health sector program where the recipient country sets the terms of the program and contracts and manages the program,’ a representative for the Rwandan Ministry of Health said by email.”
Rwanda, The Land of Gender Equality?
By Think Africa Press
“Sitting under the shade of a mango tree, Agnes Uyisabye is reviewing a list of local beneficiaries of the country’s health insurance scheme. Uyisabye, 35, is a grassroots leader in the Kansi sector of southern Rwanda. For the last nine years, she has been in charge of social affairs in the local umudugudu (Rwanda’s smallest administrative unit) overseeing its 896 residents spread across 204 households. It is an unpaid role, but Uyisabye does not mind. She slides her igitenge, a traditional cloth worn over her clothes, to one side to reveal a mobile telephone in her skirt pocket – used in emergencies to contact hospitals and health centres – and touches her blue and red shirt with pride. On her shirt, in Kinyarwanda, the local language, reads the message: ‘Uprooting malaria in Rwanda is the responsibility of us all.’ Uyisabye, a mother-of-four with a primary school education, was elected to her role in 2003, the year Paul Kagame was sworn in as president. ‘I was not surprised when I was elected,’ she says, listing female leaders in much higher positions in the country, such as the current health minister Agnes Binagwaho.”
Published by Dartmouth News on August 3, 2012
By Keith Chapman
“Binagwaho also spoke about the relationship between economic and health care growth, saying that the two are closely intertwined. There is a correlation between child mortality and poverty, she said, and investing in quality health care is investing in development. However the investment is made, Binagwaho said, it has to be something that can be managed and sustained into the future. ‘Dr. Binagwaho likely dispelled some assumptions about health care delivery systems in Rwanda,’ said Puja Patel, a MALS graduate student attending the lecture. ‘The reality is remarkably impressive.”
Published in The Dartmouth on July 30, 2012
By James Peng
“Binagwaho, who received an honorary degree from the College in 2010, shared her experiences working for her country’s under-resourced health care system in her talk. The quality of Rwanda’s health care system has improved significantly since the 1994 genocide left the country severely damaged, according to Binagwaho. The mortality rate for those who have HIV, tuberculosis and malaria has decreased by over 70 percent over the past 10 years, and the child mortality rate has decreased at a faster rate than many other African countries, Binagwaho said. ‘It’s not a miracle,” she said. ‘This has helped build our system slowly.”
On Lessons Learned and Tweeting
“We were delighted to host Dr. Agnès Binagwaho, Minister of Health of the Republic of Rwanda, for our Global Health Effectiveness session Wednesday and Thursday. As always, she was very inspiring and shared many words of wisdom. Here are a few highlights: ‘Without evidence, you do not grow. You have to take risks even if it’s a minister in front of you.”
Bill Clinton’s New Program to Breathe Life Into Rwanda’s Health Sector
By Uganda’s The Independent
“On Thursday, July 19, former United States President Bill Clinton announced plans to improve the quality and quantity of health workers by training the next generation of medical practitioners in Rwanda. President Paul Kagame, Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, and Clinton’s daughter Chelsea were also in attendance during the announcement at the Rwamagana School of Nursing and Midwifery in the Eastern Province.”
Published by World Food Programme on July 24, 2012
By Molly Slotznick
“Speaking at the event, which was co-hosted by Harvard Medical School and Partners In Health, Rwandan Minister of Health Agnes Binagwaho remarked on the situation in her country. ‘Food is a human right. But most people living with HIV don’t have enough food, and they need more food. So the only thing to do is to give it to them.”
Published on July 23, 2012
“Rwanda owns it AIDS response and it has been successful,’ said Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Rwandan Minister of Health. ‘We developed a vision of where we want to go in responding to AIDS and have chosen the path to get us there. We need to align ourselves internally first and before we start worrying about aligning our partners,’ she added. During the discussion, there was a consensus that a number of necessary conditions for true country ownership exist. These include: strong political engagement and inclusive leadership; high-quality strategic information; effective coordination; capacity development; robust national strategic plans with smart investment decisions; integration of HIV into broader health and development strategies; and full engagement of civil society and people living with HIV.”
Published by Kaiser Family Foundation on July 23, 2012
“The key word is accountability; meaning all along the chain, that each and everyone has a duty to the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as other health issues or social issues, education issues. We have a contract. Personally, I sign a contract with His Excellency every year on key indicators across the health sector; HIV is in there. The mayor, all the mayors – we have 30 districts – sign a contract with His Excellency also, but they also have HIV indicators. We go up to the village, meaning each and every one is responsible for those indicators, and if I fail – I may have reason to fail; maybe there was a catastrophe or I was sick, I don’t know, and I have to explain why, so this makes things happen. His Excellency – There is a minister in charge of the president’s office, who follows all these with His Excellency and at the end of the year we have to respond to that and we are evaluated by an independent body. It’s not a joke. We take a day; we sit down with all the things we have to achieve, all the reports, all the proven actions. A report is not enough. Also, we then go and see if what I said – what are the benefits for the population?”
‘The @corybooker oF Rwanda’ – The Health Minister Who Solves Problems Tweet By Tweet
Published by UN Dispatch on July 30, 2012
By Annie Feighery
“The success of Rwanda’s communication-enabled health gains is clearly possible, in part, because of the country’s small size. Like @CoryBooker, the mayor of Newark, NJ famous for solving problems from potholes to snow piles that his constituents tell him about over Twitter, Rwanda’s health minister uses her online engagement as a monitoring and evaluation system, a transparency mechanism, and an educational tool. In time, tweeting global leaders will likely become commonplace, but that begins with leaders like Dr. Binagwago providing a best practices case study for government accountability through embracing emerging media and technology.”
Published on July 3, 2012 in the New York Times
By Tina Rosenberg
“In most poor countries — and in the United States — health disasters are a leading cause of a family’s decline into poverty, but not for Rwandans. ‘It gives relief to people knowing that if you get sick, you don’t need to have a lot of money,’ said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s health minister. ‘It gives you psychological stability so you can concentrate on something else. The money can be used for other things — this is very important in trying to stimulate economic development.'”
Published in The New Times on July 11, 2012
“According to Binagwaho, this conference will create momentum concerning Family Planning issues and highlight the need to invest in Family planning in order to reduce maternal deaths. ‘Once family planning needs are met, it will make it easier to meet the Millennium Development goals of MDG 4 and 5. Family planning is one of the most effectual methods for improving maternal and child health. Child mortality rate will reduce and maternal health will also improve,’ she said.”
Published by Medtronic on May 23, 2012
“The effort will build on a successful model of NCD care integration developed by the Rwandan Ministry of Health together with PIH and other partners. Rwanda is a leader in health sector planning, having developed a number of novel initiatives, including a community-based mutual health insurance program, universal access to antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS, performance-based financing, and eHealth. These efforts have made Rwanda the only country in Africa on track to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals, and an experienced leader among other low- to middle-income countries. ‘The next generation of global solidarity must be more strategic, more efficient, and more country-driven,’ says Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health of Rwanda. ‘We have much work to do in creating a future in which the greatest risk factor for dying of a noncommunicable disease is not where one is born.'”
Published on May 13, 2012 in the New York Times
By Stephanie Novak
“To be a good global health provider, it’s good for students to see what others have done,” Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, who is both the Rwandan health minister and a Harvard faculty member, said by telephone. Seeing potential for the course outside of Massachusetts, Dr. Binagwaho worked with Partners in Health to bring the Harvard curriculum to her home country. “We hope to have students come from around the world and learn from them as well, and also have the students learning from each other, because they are all coming from countries where there are things ongoing,” she said. In the future, she hopes to invite health professionals from around Africa and other developing countries to participate. “We can be the example,” she said, “not teaching in theory, but teaching in practice. If you want the developing world to develop, you have to develop teaching. Courses like this have to grow.”
Published on May 25, 2012 by AllAfrica
The introduction of rotavirus vaccines into the country’s routine immunisation programme marks an historic landmark in improving access to life-saving tools for children who need them the most. ‘This is a major step for the children of Rwanda as this vaccine will save even more lives,’ said Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health of Rwanda. ‘Vaccines have proven to be one of the most impactful health interventions and we take pride today in our continuous ramp up of our routine immunisation programme with such a powerful new vaccine.'”
Published on March 24, 2012 in The East African
By Edmund Kagire
“PBF has been around for five years and we thought it wise to review it. We have divided the country into four zones based on the difficulty faced by health practitioners in their work, meaning that doctors in easy postings like Kigali where infrastructure is in place, will be receiving lower incentives than their colleagues who work in rural areas,’ Dr Binagwaho told the press last week, noting that the Ministry of Health has put in places a committee of district doctors to review it.”
EAC States Plans Central Registry For Medicines To Boost Supply
Published by the East African News Agency
“The East African Community (EAC) has agreed to set up a Medicines Registration Harmonization (MRH) project to address issues related to improving supply of medicines and harmonizing medicines registration in the region. The USD 12.5m project. which was launched recently, is expected to be implemented over a period of five years. The project, said to be a key contributor to public health, would lead to access to good quality, safe and effective medicines. It will see all the five partner states of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania have a single law regulating the registration of medicines in the region…. Rwanda’s Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho noted that launching of the project was a great opportunity for Rwanda since the country is still developing the science and technology sector. ‘It will help in the provision of high quality medicines at affordable prices and on time.'”
Published by Gavi
“Dr Agnes Binagwaho, Permanent Secretary at Rwanda’s Health Ministry, explains why her country is committed to co-financing.”
Published on September 19, 2011 by Gavi
“’For Rwanda, the HPV vaccine has become an essential part of our cancer strategy, but also a springboard to reaching out to adolescents and their parents with health messages and services. It’s a win win,’ said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health from Rwanda.”
Published on February 19, 2012 in The Guardian
By Jay Rayner
“But is optimistic. ‘It is not about food aid. We do not need food in Rwanda. We need education.’ However it is, she says, about what is being grown. Cassava root, ground to a flour and cooked up as a doughy paste, is a traditional staple. It fills children up but has almost no nutritional value. ‘It’s also about how they treat vegetables. Families cook carrots too long, for example, so there is no vitamin A left.'”
Published on January 20, 2012 in The New York Times
By Donald G. McNeil Jr.
“The day of the assembly line circumcision is drawing nearer. Now that three studies have shown that circumcising adult heterosexual men is one of the most effective ‘vaccines’ against AIDS – reducing the chances of infection by 60 percent or more – public health experts are struggling to find ways to make the process faster, cheaper, and safer… In a recent safety study, Rwanda has used PrePex to circumcise 590 men. Only two had ‘moderate’ complications; one was fixed with a single suture, and one required a new band in a different spot… Rwanda is training 150 two-nurse teams; it is a small country, but it serves as a bellwether for Africa.”
Published on June 14, 2010 in the New York Times
By Donald G. McNiel Jr.
“An example of how the system overburdens the poor, he said, was the fact that the wealthiest Rwandans pay the same $2 that the rural poor do. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the Health Ministry official, agreed, ‘It’s totally insane that my mother pays the same as the woman who cleans her house,’ she said. ‘That law is being changed.’ Still, Dr. Binagwaho said, Rwanda can offer the United States one lesson about health insurance: ‘Solidarity — you cannot feel happy as a society if you don’t organize yourself so that people won’t die of poverty.'”
Published in Today’s Zaman on October 17, 2011
“Explaining Rwanda’s success, its health ministry officials say the country already has a good health system and 86 percent of the population has health insurance. Rwanda’s Health Minister Agnes Binagwaho says proudly, ‘The Global Fund is a tool, and it can make miracles when its donations are given to honest, hardworking people.’ According Binagwaho, what sets Rwanda apart from its neighbors is its vision, transparency and lack of corruption.
But isn’t she worried about less funding? ‘If you’re driven by your worry, you’ll never get anywhere,’ Binagwaho says. She also points to a darker side of aid programs, saying that there is a ‘poverty business,’ where people on the boards or staff of global aid organizations earn hefty salaries.”
From April 6, 2011 on CNN
By Gary Strieker
“Childbirth is the number-one killer of young to middle-aged women in developing countries, and one of the worst-affected countries is Rwanda, where maternal mortality rates have been dire. But a new rural hospital is transforming the local health system and offering a model of how to turn around the situation in the country. The Butaro Hospital has been built to provide quality healthcare in one of Rwanda’s most remote districts. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, the Rwandan Permanent Secretary of Health, welcomed the new facility. ‘There are too many deaths that we could prevent by increasing access to care in a geographic way and also increasing the expertise of health professionals that deliver services,’ she said.”