Dr. Agnes Binagwaho who served as Rwandan minister of health for five years from May 2011 until July 2016 has been appointed Vice Chancellor University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) Rwanda.
By Susan Babijja
Before being appointed as vice chancellor, she has been a senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Professor of the Practice of Global Health Delivery at University of Global Health Equity, and an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
According to Dr. Peter Drobac, Executive Director UGHE said, professor Binagwawo is expected to promote the university’s reputation of service as a global hub for healthcare science and oversee the expansion of the university’s education and research programs, cultivate global partnerships, and prepare the university to move into its permanent home in the Northern Rwanda due to open in 2018.
“Agnes has committed her life’s work to advancing the health and well -being of those in greatest needs, her deep expertise as an innovator, an educator and global thought leader makes her the ideal candidate to lead UGHE into the next phase of growth,” he quoted.
Dr. Paul Farmer, Co –Founder of and Chief Strategist of Partners of Health, said Binagwaho’s visionary leadership has helped to transform Rwanda’s health sector into a model of equity, prioritising access to quality care for the most poor and marginalised.
“There is a great deal to learn from Rwanda and professor Binagwaho’s impressive results over the last decade and we are fortunate to have her at the helm of this university,” he said.
Binagwaho says she is proud to work with a team of staff, faculty, and students whose commitment to ensuring access to health care will lead to stronger and more just health systems.
“UGHE is cultivating a new generation of health professionals with the expertise to deliver comprehensive, equitable health services,” she said.
Prior to her role as Minister of Health, Binagwaho served as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Executive Secretary of the National AIDS Control Commission. In addition to her public service, she has served in an array of leadership and advisory positions at both national and global levels.
The university that started in 2015 in Rwanda, is an initiative of Partners In Health, has over 50 students including Rwandans, Burundian, Austrians, Mexicans and American, among others.
Binagwaho is a Rwandan pediatrician who completed her MD in General Medicine at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles and her MA in Pediatrics MA at the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale. She returned to Rwanda in 1996. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Dartmouth College and earned a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics, with her PhD Dissertation titled, “Children’s Right to Health in the Context of the HIV Epidemic.”
From 2002-2016, she served in the Rwandan Health Sector in high-level government positions, first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National AIDS Control Commission, then as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and then during 5 years as the Minister of Health.