Scottish Government funds scholarship training for Rwandan surgeon
by Linda Isles
We are delighted to share the news that Scottish Government is providing us with £85k of funding to support our life-saving work in Rwanda.
This grant is awarded as part of the Scottish Government’s international aid funding programme, and will provide two Kids Operating Room training scholarships for a surgical student and a Clinical Officer Anaesthesia Provider. When their training is complete, they will both work in Rwanda’s first ever children's Operating Room, which we opened in the capital city Kigali in 2018. This OR is run by the country’s only paediatric surgeon, Dr Edmond Ntaganda.
Dr Ntaganda welcomed the funding, saying: “The paediatric surgery community in Rwanda is delighted to learn that the Scottish Government, through KidsOR, is supporting the development of children’s surgical services in our country by providing these scholarships.
“This is a significant contribution to increase the workforce, and is another reason to believe in a brighter future for children’s surgery in Rwanda. We want to thank KidsOR for their continued support.”
By helping to train surgeons and anaesthesia providers, we are helping to build their capacity to train the next generation of clinical staff. The end goal is to create a sustainable system that has enough local surgeons to care for the nation’s children without the need for reliance on foreign support.
Rosemary Mugwe, our Africa Director, said: “We are so grateful to the Scottish Government for their generous support of our plan to provide training scholarships in Rwanda. We know from our work across sub-Saharan Africa that, when the number of dedicated children’s surgeons increase, it helps improve surgical outcomes for children and reduces hospital stays, too.
“The funding helps us toward fulfilling our Africa Strategy where we plan to build 120 facilities across sub-Saharan Africa by 2030, each staffed by local, skilled surgeons and anaesthesia providers.
“We are excited that this is moving forward as the appointment of the second surgeon is key to Kigali becoming a full-time training centre. That is needed so we can develop the surgeons who will go on to work in communities outwith Kigali and ultimately bring safe surgery to any Rwandan child who needs it.
“We will work with the College of Surgeons of East, Centra and Southern Africa immediately to provide these scholarship places immediately.”