20 March 2011

Rwanda: Surgical Department Understaffed - Official

Students should consider taking up science subjects to fill current gaps in the medical field, Dr. Patrick Kyamanywa has advised.

He was presenting the state of surgical education at the university to members of different medical institutions and developing partners who met in Kigali, Friday, to explore measures of strengthening surgical education in the country.

Dr. Kyamanywa, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), said that intake of students in the science faculty had been low for the last five years.

"The university has produced only four surgeons since 2007. And this year, even if admission is still on, only four students have been admitted so far," he said.

He explained that the government has and is still putting in place mechanisms to enable students acquire skills, not only in general surgery, but in various other specialties.

Dr. Emmanuel Kayibanda, a consultant surgeon at King Faisal Hospital (KFH), said the number of surgeons in the country was too small to serve effectively.

"We are only 30 surgeons in the country, 14 of whom are expatriates

Kayibanda, who also doubles as chairman of Rwanda Surgical Society (RSS), noted that although the Health Ministry is training doctors to acquire surgical skills, there is need to encourage more students to join.

"19 medical doctors are undergoing four-year training in surgical skills at the three referral hospitals to build on the existing team," he said.

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