April 21, 2023

UMMS faculty, leaders meet with Rwanda Minister of Health

Michigan Medicine and broader University collaborations in Rwanda are poised to expand following a recent visit from the country’s top health official.

Nsanzimana and Deb Rooney
Rwanda Minister of Health Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana tours the UMMS Clinical Simulation Center with Associate Professor of Learning Health Sciences Deb Rooney, director of the Center's Education and Research programs.

It was Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana’s first-ever visit to Ann Arbor and follows a collaboration agreement between the University and the Rwandan Health Ministry formalized last fall.

Early partnerships have focused on renal transplant but could expand to other areas. During his April 17 visit, organized through the U-M Center for Global Health Equity, Nsanzimana toured facilities and met with faculty from across UMMS, including Learning Health Sciences, Pediatrics, and the Clinical Simulation Center. He also met leaders from the School of Public Health, the School of Business, and the African Studies Center.

The visit culminated in a public discussion with UMMS Sr. Associate Dean Joseph Kolars. Nsanzimana discussed the improvements in Rwanda’s health system in recent decades, his priorities for continued progress, and the promise—and pitfalls—of international collaborations for countries like his.

“Imagine developing a strategy to improve the health sector in Rwanda without us involved. That has happened many times, unfortunately,” Nsanzimana said. “But today, we are proud to have many partners who come us to first learn and ask, ‘What are your priorities?’ We are continuing that conversation today with you and would like to do more partnerships with U-M. I believe it will not be my last time visiting here to see how this partnership can evolve.”

Visit the Center for Global Health Equity website to watch the entire conversation.

Nsanzimana and Joseph Kolars
Nsanzimana speaks to audience of students and faculty as part of a conversation moderated by Sr. Associate Dean Joseph Kolars.