The mRNA vaccine industry is set to establish its presence in Rwanda by the end of this year

The Ministry of Health in Rwanda, in collaboration with various agencies and international health organizations, has developed a strategic plan to enhance the quality of healthcare both nationally and globally. As part of this initiative, the vaccine industry is poised to introduce a groundbreaking technology in the form of mRNA vaccines in Rwanda by the end of this year.

This is what the State Minister of Health, Dr. Yvan Butera, said when he attended the 74th General Assembly of the World Medical Association in Kigali, Rwanda.

State Minister Dr. Yvan Butera

Dr. Yvan Butera stated that in order to address the ongoing challenges in various healthcare sectors and to further advance Rwanda’s transformation into a medical hub in East Africa, several measures have been taken. These measures include increasing the workforce in the field of medicine and establishing pharmaceutical and vaccine industries.

“Today, our discussion centers around the development of vaccines and medications to combat epidemics, including the current one and potential future outbreaks. Notably, the vaccine industry is poised to introduce a groundbreaking technology in the form of mRNA vaccines in Rwanda by the end of this year. This milestone marks the first time such technology will be available on the African continent. In addition to this significant advancement, we’ve also been exploring various other measures to further advance the production and distribution of medicines, vaccines, and related solutions throughout Africa” State Minister Dr. Yvan Butera said.

“There are challenges like elsewhere, because we still have the journey that I told you about making vaccines and medicines and so on. We seem to be starting it, but the important thing is that once we start it, we will continue to move forward. Additionally, there are developments within the field of medicine that we have initiated. In Rwanda, we have formulated a plan to quadruple the number of professionals working in the medical field over the next four years. These are some of the challenges we have identified and have already taken steps to address. This forum provides an excellent platform for bringing together medical associations from around the world, and we will collaborate collectively to achieve our healthcare goals” State Minister Dr. Yvan Butera added.

He continued by explaining that during their discussion with the participants of the meeting, they provided an overview of Rwanda’s current status in the field of medicine. Furthermore, they outlined specific initiatives they have planned for the future. Additionally, they shared with the participants the strategies and approaches that have contributed to their current level of achievement in the field of medicine.

“During our discussion, we touched upon the ongoing healthcare strategy in Rwanda. Currently, our primary care services have reached a satisfactory level, and we are actively ramping up our efforts to train an adequate number of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, midwives, and various others. We believe that this forum provides an excellent opportunity to engage with our colleagues and explore potential collaborations aimed at sustaining and enhancing medical education to meet our workforce needs” State Minister Dr. Yvan Butera said.

Dr Ntirushwa David, President of RMA

Dr Ntirushwa David, President of the Rwanda Medical Association (RMA), highlights that the WMA General Assembly presents a valuable opportunity for Rwandan doctors. It facilitates meaningful conversations and exchanges with doctors from around the world. Moreover, it offers the advantage of being in a position to participate in crucial decisions as they arise, with the benefit of immediate awareness and involvement.

“We hold a profound interest in this gathering, primarily due to our ability to connect with doctors and medical leaders from various corners of the world. This global exchange is essential for advancing the field of medicine on a worldwide scale. It’s no longer just about improvements within Rwanda; it’s about contributing to the betterment of medicine globally. Having these discussions take place in our country is a significant opportunity. It allows us to learn, participate in decisions that might otherwise be made elsewhere and reach us later. Now, decisions are being made right here in Rwanda, and that, I would say, is one of the major advantages” Dr Ntirushwa David said.

Dr. Osahon Enabulele, the president of WMA

Speaking about the main purpose of WMA 74th General Assembly, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, the president of the World Medical Association, said: “This scientific session of the World Head Assembly, like you know, is aimed at the issue of global health security. We’re trying to see how we can learn from the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic to build a more secured world, a safer, equitable and inclusive world with no one left behind. So this whole essence is to ensure that we all as stakeholders in the healthcare industry come together to again see how we can as fellow citizens of the world build more resilient health systems that are integrated, inclusive,  adaptive,  and of course,  incorporates the interests of all without leaving anyone behind. So we do not want to have a system where some are advancing and some are left behind because that is not going to engender global health security.  So we’re looking at how to also get greater calls on our governments across the world to get them to be a bit more committed towards the ongoing efforts to have a pandemic threat and also to call on them to give more emphasis on the place of the health workforce. So we’re looking for how we can get leaders of the various countries to agree to work together, to agree to cooperate, and to solidarize with themselves, to show solidarity with everyone.

World Medical Association (WMA) comprises over one hundred (100) countries, each with its own representatives from the respective medical associations. At the 74th General Assembly Rwandan Doctors had the opportunity to interact with the medical associations’ leaders of those nations, their delegates, and others in attendance.

Carine Kayitesi

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