The two-day African International Medical and Healthcare Forum, the first of its kind which was held last week in Kigali, has brought together members of the Shanghai Medical Instruments Trade Association (SMITA) and Rwandan healthcare policymakers, experts and medical practitioners.
The theme of the forum was ‘Better Health, Realised Dreams’ symbolizing the opportunity provided through this conference for members of the SMITA to further understand Rwanda’s healthcare system, needs, and investment opportunities. It also offered Rwanda an opportunity to pitch health sector investment opportunities through collaboration with representatives from a number of private sector companies from China as well as trade associations.
Clare Akamanzi, the CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) which organised the meeting, said that the forum is long overdue for Rwanda.
“This is quite fundamental for our country, especially at a time when the country is focused on enhancing the health sector and transforming it into a regional medical hub.” Akamanzi observed.
She also expressed optimism that the Forum will not only forge partnerships among stakeholders but it will also be an opportunity for the country to explore business opportunities.
Charles Ownn, the vice-chairman of SMITA, for his part lauded Rwanda for being at the forefront of development in the region. He observed that the Forum was an occasion for Rwanda to pursue partnerships with countries like China that have registered success in health care management.
“This is most opportune time for Rwanda, a country at the forefront of development in the region to forge favourable partnerships with some of the fastest developing countries in healthcare management such as China,” Ownn noted.
He further noted that the forum provided the SMITA team an opportunity to work with Rwanda.
“Our team is more than honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to work together with Rwanda,” Ownn said.
The government is focused on improving the healthcare sector built on four key pillars. The first priority area is training and capacity building of healthcare practitioners which goes hand in hand with the second pillar of refining financial systems and improving access to affordable health through better medical insurance terms.
The third pillar is improving healthcare facilities within all the medical centres in the country, highly dependent on partnerships between the government and the private sector. Lastly, enhancing service delivery is also vital in making hospitals more hospitable and tranquil and attracting specialized facilities in cardiology, oncology and neurology.