As nation reconciles with itself, a successful transition helps Rwanda recover from past wounds

Mrs. Thérèse Bishagara

Interview with Mrs. Thérèse Bishagara


Mrs. Thérèse Bishagara
Director of KHI

Contact details:
Tel: (250) 72172
Fax: (250) 71787

"Building capacity for delivery of quality health services to communities"


The mission of Kigali Health Institute is to build capacity for preventive, curative, rehabilitative and promotive health for individuals, families and the community. The Institute shall achieve the mission through basic and in-service training of health personnel, conducting operational and academic research, advocacy and health service delivery.

Kigali Health Institute created in 1996


Kigali Health Institute is an institute of higher Education established in June 1996by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The Institute was created to solve the problem of inadequate health personnel both in quality and quantity. The shortage of health personnel had been worsened by the tragic events of 1994 which resulted into poor delivery of health services and coverage. The demand for doctors and nurses were respectively high because the shortage was as bad as 55,705 population per doctor and 6,365 population per nurse. The need for both doctors and nurses were equivalent to about 40% in 1997. The need for qualified physiotherapists, radiology technicians, anesthetists, laboratory technicians, dentists, hospital managers and Environmental Health Scientists is much higher because they were non-existent at the time of the war.
Kigali Health Institute started with two sections of Anesthesia and Physiotherapy. It was formally established by Law No 07/02/ 2002 of The Republic of Rwanda. Kigali Health Institute is empowered to award degrees, diplomas and certificates to grduates marking successful completion of the relevant studies. The Institute which started with 43 students has increased the enrollment to 839. Eight departments, a Center for Continuing Education and a partnership with Natal University to award Degrees for Health professional teachers have been established. The current departments of Kigali Health Institute are; Nursing and Midwifery, Anesthesia, Radiology, Laboratory techniques, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Mental health and Environmental Health Sciences.

To improve the quality of health for the individuals, families and communities by providing qualified health personnel at the operational and managerial levels.

1. To train sufficient number of qualified nurses and paramedical personnel capable of providing quality medical services
2. To qualify environmental and other community based health personnel who will provide disease preventive and health promotive services
3. To improve performance of health personnel through continuing education
4. To offer continued training to personnel who teach professional health subjects in schools
5. To promote technology in the health field
6. To promote research and advocacy for the purpose of improving health care
7. To teach strategies relating to safeguarding public health

Anesthetical officers in theatre


The strategies are:

- Basic training of the health professionals
- Continued training of in-service personnel
- Operational research and advocacy
- Participate in Health care delivery
- Development of Information and communication technology
- Collaboration with similar institutions of training in health within and outside the country
- Organize French & English language courses to facilitate students comprehension of the professional training

Physiotherapy practice

Research laboratory


1. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health assigned KHI to open other departments in order to cope with the shortage of health management personnel, teachers of health training institutions and community based health personnel.

2. KHI co-operate with other institutions for the development and promotion of information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

3. Conduct intensive research with in the health framework and intensify the collaboration with other Government Departments and NGO

4. Invest in the infrastructure development of :Multipurpose hall, Classrooms, Kitchen and restaurant for students, Polyclinic, Library, Students' hostels.
5. Establish Bachelor's degree course in the various health fields for high level capacity for operational research, supervisory and management functions.

6. Strengthen the functioning of the Continuing Education Center which will bridge the professional gap of the inadequately trained personnel

7. Establish a clinic in order to contribute to health care provision to the public as well as providing practical training opportunity to KHI students. The pilot services shall include oral care, physiotherapy, maternity and referral laboratory

8. Establish a reagent conditioning laboratory

Dentistry courses


Top management consist of KHI is the Director General, the Deputy Director of Academic Affairs and Deputy Director of Administration and Finance. The two Deputy Directors supervise the respective Heads of departments and services.

STUDENTS ENROLMENT: 2001- 2002 academic year

(KHI Centre for Continuing Education) 

Contact details:
P.O. Box 3186
Tel No. 72172 ext. 120/501295


The Rwandan Government's Mission is to ensure the well-being of the Rwandan population through increase in production and poverty reduction. For a population to be productive, it requires access to quality health care and services. However, to ensure quality health care the number of health professionals should be sufficient both in quantity and in quality.

To answer to the demands of advancement of health care and of science and technology, the management of KHI have established a centre for Continuing Education for nursing and paramedical staff (CEFOCK).

Starting in March 2001, the Centre has benefited from the support of the "Agence Luxemburgeoise pour la Coopération au Développement" - Luxembourg Agency for Development Cooperation (Lux-Development). To launch its activities, CEFOCK started a training program for Secondary School teachers of Health Care. Such an activity aims at strengthening the initial training phase without which Continuing Education would not be envisaged. This program is based on the training requirements identified during an Ad Hoc study carried out on 10 schools during the month of May 2001. CEFOCK has also opened its doors to practitioners in the public health system by offering its expertise through Continuing Education. CEFOCK thus encourages requests for refresher courses for Health care personnel.

Mental health courses

Mission of CEFOCK

CEFOCK targets the promotion of the Rwandan people's wellbeing through continued training of nurses and paramedical staff responsible for training and health care. This continued training will enable them to acquire skills including updated professional aptitudes, thus ensuring high quality health care.


CEFOCK has the following objectives:
Ensure a level of continuing education that is capable of enhancing the professional skills of nursing and paramedical staff.
Improve the basic training requirements of nurses and paramedical staff by ensuring a professional and methodological training of trainers


Draw up annual training programs in the course of workshops
Train CEFOCK trainers
Establish a partnership framework for Health training
Collaborate with resource persons of KHI and other key partners (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Private Sector).

Activities carried out during the year 2001

- Study for identification of training requirements in 10 Nursing Schools
- Teacher training programs for Continuing Education
- Elaboration of 6 training modules focusing on: Semiology and Propedeutics, Quality Assurance, Introduction to teacher training and teaching methods, Gyneco-Obstetric nursing care, Health Centre Management, Introduction to Computers
- Organisation of 5 weeks of training
- Visits to monitor continuing education in schools

Current Projects

Determination of level of skills for students studying Nursing
Elaboration of training modules and organisation of seminars adapted towards the requirements of individual clients
Development of expertise for purposes of counselling in matters relating to continuing education
Evaluation of training requirements for Health personnel
Reorientation/Refresher courses for Health personnel.

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