June 17, 2024

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Rwanda: UGHE Master Graduates urged to stand for Health Equity, and speak for voiceless

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

The sixth cohort of the Graduates of Master of Science in Global Health Delivery at the University of Global Health Equity were urged to fight against global Health inequalities and to speak for voiceless.

The call was made on 22nd August, 2021 during the virtual graduation of students from twelve countries globally including Rwanda, Nigeria, Pakistan, Kenya, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Liberia.

The event was graced by various officials including families of the graduates.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Abebe Bekele, UGHE Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic & Research Affairs told graduates that “The University of Global Health Equity has prepared them to tackle inequities in health service delivery.”

Prof. Abebe Bekele said ‘UHGE has prepared you to contribute what you can to tackle these inequities – to take advantage of these challenging times and skills gained to strengthen your moral compass, speak for the voiceless, and advance science in the service of humanity.’

He told graduates that “‘It is not a coincidence you found yourself in this noble profession. There must be an inner reason. It is now up to you to explore and find that out and make the best out of the lifelong journey in front of you. Because once you do, what a journey you will have!’

On her turn, Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity emphasized that what they have learnt during their time at the UGHE should be utilised efficiently to resolve various health challenges.

Prof. Binagwaho said “‘As you graduate today, dear students, you are fully integrated into the alumni family and the global health network as our colleagues. You have learned that national actions are needed to improve lives in the local community, actions that need to be focused on the most vulnerable and the most disadvantaged in the community.”

“I urge you to address health issues through solidarity, a collaborative mindset and a multisectoral approach. Always aim to strengthen health systems through a more inclusive, human centered and equity based.” She said,

While delivering the keynote address, Dr John Nkengason, Director of Africa CDC revealed that “Africa has over 1/4 of the global disease burden with very few health professionals to help combat it.

“However, today’s commencement is a direct charge against this shortage of health workers.” He said.

He assured that “The University of Global Health Equity is training the experts needed today to help develop the manufacturing capacity of tomorrow by creating new avenues for education and research to support the efforts of Africa in medical self-sufficiency to save humans on the African continent”

“On the African continent there is a growing understanding of the need to invest in the development of various health technologies and UGHE is pushing for this innovation.” He added

The event, which was also attended by various officials including Dr. Paul Farmer UGHE’s Chancellor, all expressed their confidence in the graduates of UGHE and added that they look forward to addressing the issues in the health sector.

Dr. Paul Farmer said “‘Because you’re UGHE graduates, much of your current and future work is to grasp a broad biosocial and ecological view of health disparities and how best to address them in the here and now’

Rwanda’s Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije noted that “Solidarity is needed now more than ever in advancing regional education cooperation to leverage community health and address social, economic and political determinants of health.”

He commended the graduates adding that “The perseverance, willingness to learn, commitment, and diligence taken to complete this degree are the same qualities you will need to become health equity advocates and activists.”

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