Rwanda has only one surgeon for 11 million people
Posted Thursday, October 3 2013 at 01:00
Despite Rwanda’s progress in the medical sector, there is only one qualified surgeon in the country of more than 11 million people, Dr Theobald Hategekimana reveals.
According to Dr Hategekimana, a urologist and director of University Central Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), there are only three specialists who also handle cases that include urology and only two neurosurgeons.
Current statistics show that the country has only 725 medical doctors making the ratio one doctor to 16,000 patients. This is above the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of at least a doctor to 10,000 patients.
Dr Hategekimana, appeals to the government to train more surgeons as one doctor is unable to attend and supervise all the country’s surgery patients. “It is a huge challenge which government must address urgently. We depend on specialists from outside countries who are costly,” Dr Hategekimana said.
He said the surgeon is at Rwanda Military Hospital in Kigali which leaves patients based in the upcountry districts unattended to. “There is a plan to start sending Rwandan medics to India for training as a way of bridging the gap but the government needs to demonstrate its commitment and fulfill this program,” he stressed. He made this call during a medical camp, where a team of doctors from Nigeria are offering free surgery to survivors of the 1994 genocide.
Statistics from the commission to fight against genocide indicate that at least 2,900 people were disfigured during the genocide.