Overall the work here is going very well – needless to say I find it incredibly rewarding and am fortunate enough to be working alongside outstanding colleagues, both Rwandan and US. I am working at the main teaching hospital in Kigali, spending time in clinical teaching conferences, rounding on the wards (focusing on those patients with TB and HIV, of which there are many, about 40%) and in the HIV clinic.
There are numerous challenges too – almost always related to the lack of financial and human resources. Some weeks are emotionally exhausting but then we should never get accustomed to seeing patients die solely due to inadequate resources.
As the designated HRH lead on the US faculty side, I have helped structure the program and provide feedback to the Ministry of Health and the Clinton Foundation organizers. A recent highlight was a wonderful site visit by Dr. Eric Goosby, the US Global AIDS Coordinator and head of the PEPFAR program. I had an hour with him during which we discussed the program and possible next steps of engagement. I also spoke on behalf of the US faculty at an event with Ambassador Goosby and Minister Agnes Binagwahoo.
Geisel and Dartmouth are leading by example in global health. I see many opportunities to engage our students moving forward.