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Rwanda, August 17

Meet Dr. Jean-Luc Nkurikiyimfura. His lengthy last name means “striving for excellence” in Kinyarwanda. To everyone's relief, the amiable young Rwandan doctor prefers to go by Dr. Jean-Luc. As director of the HIV out-patient clinic at CHUK (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali), the main teaching hospital in Kigali, he is a very busy man.

He is also Dr. Lisa Adams' appointed faculty “twin” in the Rwandan HRH (Human Resources for Health) program that is getting off the ground these days. Seven US medical schools, including Geisel, is contributing faculty members to the program, with which the Rwandan ministry of health is looking to strengthen the medical education system in Rwanda over the next seven years.

A few weeks of orientation remains for the arriving U.S. faculty members from the participating medical schools, but Dr. Adams has already been meeting with Dr. Jean-Luc to get a sense of the challenges and opportunities at the HIV and TB clinics at the hospital. CHUK is the largest referral and primary teaching hospital

in Rwanda; the HIV clinic alone follows over 2,000 outpatients. Dr. Adams and Dr. Jean-Luc have started to design an operations research project to measure key clinical service indicators with the goal of improving HIV care delivery.

Since a key focus of the HRH program is strengthening medical education, they plan to identify a 3rd year internal medicine resident to co-mentor on this project.

Lars BlackmoreAbout the author: Lars Blackmore is an editor, designer, writer, and photojournalist who has worked for the United Nations and the International Rescue Committee.  Lars is married to Dr. Lisa Adams, Geisel faculty member, director of the Center for Health Equity, and a leader in the Rwanda HRH program.  He travelled with Lisa and their two children to Rwanda in July 2012 for their six-month stay as part of the HRH program.  His From the Field dispatches and photos from Rwanda appear on this site.