DGHI Forges New Ties in Rwanda

Institute leaders sign agreement to develop partnerships through the East African university co-founded by Paul Farmer.

East African partners meeting

DGHI faculty and staff meet with East African partners at the University of Global Health Equity in Butaro, Rwanda. All photos courtesy of Olivier Habiyaremye/64 Waves

Published June 23, 2023, last updated on February 15, 2024 under Around DGHI

More than a dozen DGHI faculty and staff traveled to Rwanda June 19-22 to explore opportunities for collaboration with long-standing and new East African partners. The meeting, hosted by the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in the northern Rwandan city of Butaro, is the next step in what DGHI leaders hope will be a deepening relationship with researchers and clinicians at the university and across the region.

The meeting highlighted existing and potential partnerships across East Africa to advance research and clinical training in global surgery, mental health, implementation science and other areas. Among the projects presented was a global surgery course co-taught by DGHI professor Henry Rice that is jointly offered to students at Duke and UGHE. DGHI partners from Moi University in Kenya, the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Tanzania, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa joined to discuss areas for future research collaboration.

At the meeting, DGHI Director Chris Beyrer, M.D., signed a memorandum of understanding to develop new partnerships through UGHE, which was launched in 2015 by Partners in Health, a global health organization co-founded by Duke alumnus Paul Farmer, to train a new generation of global health leaders in East Africa. Beyrer says forging new ties with UGHE and across other partnerships will enhance DGHI’s commitment to the region and carry on Farmer’s legacy of improving health access through equitable partnerships. 

“There is ample opportunity for mutually beneficial collaboration, not only between us and UGHE, but between UGHE and some of our long-term partners in the region,” Beyrer says. “We hope that this will become an annual East African meeting to share ideas and explore new ways to work together.”

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

Rwanda Equity Meeting

We hope that this will become an annual East African meeting to share ideas and explore new ways to work together.

Chris Beyrer, M.D. — Director, Duke Global Health Institute