The Ministry of Health has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of South Korea as part of efforts to improve technology within the health sector. The collaboration is expected to improve cooperation between Rwanda and Korea in the field of telemedicine, hospital information system (HIS) and provision of ICT-based medical services.
Speaking during a media briefing, Kwon Deok-cheol, the visiting Korean deputy minister for health and welfare, who headed the delegation, said e-Health is now an effective tool of sharing information needed to provide services and controlling non-communicable diseases.
“While visiting some rural health centres in the country, I realised that e-health would be very crucial in providing information, especially now that Rwanda has potential to expand modern health services across the country. Through working together, information between the two countries will be shared,” said Kwon.
“Your enthusiasm in making citizens get better healthcare using new technology is evident. Even in Korea we had this passion that contributed greatly to our economic success and provision of universal healthcare to our citizens. This is applicable to Rwanda and we will build on this partnership to ensure it happens.”
The agreement will also enable Korea Telecom, Yonsei University Health System and University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) to cooperate on digital healthcare.
While commending Korean support, Health minister Agnes Binagwaho said technology would be spread across all levels of the health sector for the benefit of all individuals.
“We have to use technology right from the rural areas to the national level that is how we can manage e-Health. Although we still have a long way to go in terms of improved management, access to information, advice from health personnel and distance towards health care facilities, this arrangement is one of the opportunities for us to improve,” Dr Binagwaho said.
She also expressed optimism about the collaboration in providing leverage towards global experience in health.
“From the global point of view, such opportunities are supporting improvement of our university education, to move at the same level as the rest of the world,” the minister said.
“We need to ensure that health systems are good and when you build something the foundation has to be good from the start. This is how it should be across all fields such as technical research, neonatology and oncology.”