Professor Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M (Ped), PHD is a Rwandan pediatrician who returned to Rwanda in 1996, two years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The vice chancellor and Co-Founder of the University of Global Health Equity Rwanda will, this year between 20th-25th June, receive the UNESCO and L’ Oreal International Prize for Women in Science.
The International Prize for Women in Science by UNESCO and L’ Oreal Groupe this year honoured five eminent women scientists with exceptional careers from the five regions of the world, as it has done annually since 1998.
The Prize considers the importance of science in meeting the major challenges facing humanity.
Our Today’s Health article does not intend to glorify her as the maker of everything in the field of health, but rather to show how this Rwandan woman continues to strive for the development of the health sector in Rwanda, Africa and across the World.
Based on the long analysis of TOP AFRICA NEWS, Prof. Binagwaho is considered one of the distinguished people in Rwanda who have been able to translate Health Science into the understandable Health realities and solutions that are not always to be relied to Scientific or chemical products such as medicines, etc.
She enlightened the value of Public Health in the Resource Constraint society
Unlike in the past when Health was taken in the angle of Hospitals, patients and medical doctors, Prof. Agnes Binagwaho has reinvented that in a way that one can confirm to be the use of available means to solve available problems without relying much on scientific fact, scientific solutions rather concentrating on Public facts.
Bashar Abubakar, a Nigerian who graduated from the UGHE’s Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD) Program is a good example that enlightens the role of Public centred health solutions to the challenges that any community can face.
In the last article, we have seen that Dr. Bashar has been doing Clinical and Public Health works before turning his attention to raising awareness on the Public Health challenges through the reporting.
During the time when he was practicing clinical and public health, he said, he got first-hand experience of what it was like to provide care in resource constraint settings, and the challenges mitigating against accessing and delivering quality health care to the people.
At the time, he said, “I heard about how a new global health institution in Rwanda was training young health professionals like myself to improve health systems across the world, especially in Africa.”
“I knew UGHE was the right place for me to learn, build networks and contribute to shaping the health systems that serve everyone. Health systems that are responsive to the needs of all, regardless of who they are, where they are from, or their socioeconomic status.” Bashar added.
So, as our right observation and based on tangible facts, by establishing the University of Global Health Equity and putting much attention on Public Health Concerns, Prof. Binagwaho and Co-founders have given value to Public Health which also acted as a mind-set change on dealing with Public Health Concerns such as child stunting among many other aspects and especially in resource constraint Societies.
She is truthful about all matters concerning Public Health
Recently while I was at a press conference organized by some of the African youth who want to change the kind of Western Narratives about African Continent, one of the journalists asked the youth if they are not afraid that if they raise their voices they would face similar challenges like other African Politicians naming Khadaffi, Sankara and others who have faced similar fates when they wanted to show that Africa is capable and worthy of a stable value.
This led me to think about one of the conversations Prof. Binagwaho had recently via her monthly ASK PROF. BINAGWAHO session where she pointed out that so far Europe or the developed countries should accept that what is needed now is health co-operation where she seems to have shown that having a lot of money is no longer a matter for dealing with the challenges facing Public health. At this point I also wondered if developed countries would not be mistaken for her for speaking against their ‘superiority’ in terms of hospitals, equipment, etc.
In absolute truth, Prof. Binagwaho said that COVID 19 has put rich countries to shame for failing to protect the Community during the Pandemic.
According to Prof. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity Rwanda and World renowned Public Health Expert, very few countries have also managed to be resilient enough for people not to die from other diseases than COVID 19.
She asserted that despite protecting public health during the time of the pandemic being a supreme obligation for countries and International Community irrespective color, country or the continent, during the COVID 19 pandemic, rich countries have shown that they do not care about the health of the people from poor countries, including those on the African continent.
On the other hand, some of the richest countries have faced the challenge of failing to protect their citizens when COVID 19 was so strong due to poor Health Systems of which COVID 19 spotlighted as more bureaucratic than Citizen Centered System.
You can continue reading her truth via this article
The University of which she co-founded explained Health Science into On-ground Health realities
The content in this section is all about activities that are visible and tangible. When you look at some of the courses offered in UGHE especially the courses related to interconnection of Health, the environment and human activities and academically known as UGHE’s “One Health” class, you find that in a just simple way, the fact that the UGHE to which Prof. Agnes Binagwaho is a Co-founder has been able to integrate the environment, human activities into real life science continue to help students who are also future Public servants to exit from books and scientific life to real on-ground realities.
This method of teaching also helps students get started early to help their home countries think about the answers that are needed as the existing problems are mostly visible to everyone but being reluctant to find solutions can cause more damage than the ignored ones.
In this UGHE’s One Health approach, it prepares global health leaders with a broad base of knowledge as well as cross-cutting skills directed towards improving the health of animals, the environment and humans through a transdisciplinary, multi-sectoral and holistic approach.
“From these examples, it is undeniable that human health is dependent on the health of animals and our shared environment. The impact of poor practice from one activity can affect the other on a grand scale” said Happy Kampire, an MGHD’21 One Health student. “For example, deforestation from mining activities may contribute to the droughts which causes a shortage of suitable feed for cows, and which affects the availability of milk for human consumption. Therefore, we need a multisectoral and transdisciplinary approach that takes into consideration the lives of all living beings and our shared environment.” Kampire added.
You can also read more in this article