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Rwanda Endoscopy Week For Advanced Endoscopic Procedures

Up to 700 patients in 7 Hospitals got the highest quality of healthcare in the domain of Gastro-Intestinal and Liver Diseases

The Rwanda Endoscopy Week in its third exercise was time to showcase how far the Rwandan community can benefit from advanced endoscopic procedures increasing the number up to 700 in 2019 from 448 patients treated the previous year and only 244 patients when Rwanda Endoscopy week was initiated in 2017. This is a success story and result of the good initiative of Rwanda Health Professionals supported by the Ministry of Health MOH, The College of Medicine and Health Sciences UR/CMHS, DGs of involved hospitals and International partners from USA, Netherlands and Australia.

Rwanda suffers from a significant burden of gastrointestinal disease. Conditions such as gastrointestinal malignancies, H. pylori-related peptic ulcer disease, advanced liver disease and its complications, noncirrhotic portal hypertension, acute and chronic diarrheal illness, malnutrition, and the gastrointestinal manifestations of the most common infectious diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis, which are underdiagnosed and inadequately treated.

In addition to standard endoscopic procedures, including endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Fibro scanning, upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, Health’s digestive disorder specialists offer advanced endoscopic procedures. In many cases, these techniques provide improved options for the treatment and diagnosis of a variety of digestive disorders affecting the GI tract. The diversification of healthcare in the domain of gastro-intestinal and liver diseases has been provided not only to old people such 90’s but included young children of about One year during the medical missions.
Endoscopic refers to the use of an instrument called an endoscope — a thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. The high-quality picture from the endoscope is shown on a television monitor, providing a clear and detailed view of your digestive tract. All endoscopic procedures in Rwanda Endoscopy Week are performed by team of abroad gastroenterologists experts in digestive disorders and liver diseases.

REW is a collaborative effort born of relationships formed through HRH, RSE and previously established bilateral international physician exchanges. The goals are to provide direct patient care, train providers in therapeutic endoscopic skills, and advance gastroenterology as a subspecialty intensively over a short period of time.
There is palpable enthusiasm amongst Rwandan IM residents and young internists
for advanced subspecialty training in GI, which does not currently exist.

Proud of the 3 years experience of the Rwanda Endoscopy Week ; Doctor Vincent Dusabejambo president of the Rwanda Society of Endoscopy is committed to collaborate with the Rwanda Health System to advocate to providing theoretical knowledge and practical skills to health professionals involved in the domain of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Meanwhile much has to be done due to the lack of endoscopic equipment, coupled with a lack of training and expertise in therapeutic endoscopy, hinders gastrointestinal specialized care.
There are three referral hospitals where endoscopic equipment is available. Dedicated nurses and doctors at these facilities make the best of what they have to provide care. The equipment is often donated, used scopes from abroad, and maintenance of this equipment is a challenge. Likewise, consumables such as balloon dilators, varicella band ligators and biopsy forceps are in short supply.
Rwanda has made enormous strides over the past 10 years in recreating a health
care system. There is now universal health care coverage, and health care is free for the poorest 25% of Rwandans.

By Pascal Mbuguje