From Rwanda to Hanover

Read the full story by Susan Green, published by the Geisel School of Medicine.

For the past two years, Jean-Luc Nkurikiyimfura has been collaborating with faculty at the Geisel School of Medicine despite working and living thousands of miles away. Nkurikiyimfura, who heads the HIV clinic at Kigali University Teaching Hospital in Rwanda’s capital, is part of the Rwandan Human Resources for Health (HRH) program.

Jean-Luc Nkurikiyimfura, a Rwandan physician, works with Geisel’s Lisa Adams as part of the Human Resources for Health Program. (Photo by Lars Blackmore)

Launched by the Rwanda Ministry of Health with the assistance of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, HRH is a seven-year program that is helping to build a sustainable, high-quality health-care and medical education system in Rwanda by having U.S. medical school faculty work closely with physicians there.

Earlier this spring, Nkurikiyimfura had the chance to visit Geisel for the first time. He met with Geisel faculty members, including Lisa Adams, MED ’90, the associate dean for global health and an associate professor of medicine and of community and family medicine, who is leading Geisel’s involvement in HRH and is partnered with Nkurikiyimfura as part of the project.

“I came to Dartmouth at the invitation of Dr. Lisa Adams,” Nkurikiyimfura says. “It has been easy for us to work together—we have the same focus in our professional goals, particularly in terms of global health.”

When Adams first arrived in Rwanda to begin working on the HRH program, Nkurikiyimfura had just been appointed the head of the HIV clinic. “She helped me create an organizational structure for the clinic and showed me how to run it,” Nkurikiyimfura says. “We ended up doing a study aimed at improving the quality of service delivery in the clinic, which takes care of approximately 2,500 patients. We are now working on a paper about this that we hope to publish soon.”