School of Public Health opens new lab for aspiring scholars agendas

The School of Public Health at the National University of Rwanda (NURSPH) launched its latest laboratory on Friday for students in PhD and Masters of Philosophy (MPHIL) programmes.

The Rwf7-million facility was constructed through the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s African Health Initiative and will offer a conducive space to study and collaborate with their supervisors.

According to the Country Director of Partners in Health, Peter Drobac, the new facility is a result of NURSPH’s steadfast commitment to building research capacity among health professionals in order to grow the volume of Rwandan-driven health research.

“Through high-quality research, Rwanda’s healthcare leaders will better understand the issues affecting the nation’s population and use this knowledge base as a catalyst for population health improvements,” Drobac said.

NURSPH’s Director, Professor Jean Baptiste Kakoma, said the laboratory will serve as a designated space for PhD and MPHIL students to engage in peer-supported learning.

“It will provide a productivity-driven and quiet environment in which students can focus on their research activities.

“The space is specifically reserved for students engaged in the PHD and MPHIL programmes, the only research-based degrees offered at NURSPH,” Kakoma said.

According to the minister for health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, the future of Rwanda’s healthcare advancement needs implementing experts to become academics, researchers, and faculty members.

“As our leaders pursue higher degrees to advance their work and the health of our nation, their time becomes more precious and limited. This laboratory will give all students the space needed to focus on the important work of conducting and disseminating world-class research,” she said.

She encouraged all of the PhD and MPHIL students to recognise the true opportunity that the laboratory creates.

“It is an opportunity not only to learn and grow as academics, but to support the development of Rwanda through advancements in healthcare, through research capacity for all our citizens. Rwanda intends to become a leading nation in healthcare research, and this facility is an important step towards that goal,” Binagwaho said.

NURSPH has been offering PHD and MPHIL programmes in public health since January 2011 to build research capacities for the country’s health professionals.