Rwandan and Belgian health officials have unveiled a new five-year research partnership to strengthen the management of tuberculosis in Rwanda.The partnering will see Belgium based Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) sharing best practices with Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and the University of Rwanda (UR), according to a statement obtained by APA Friday in Kigali.
The Director General RBC, Dr Claude Muvunyi said that the collaboration is going to strengthen the institutions and ensure they are capable in terms of fighting and preventing malaria and tuberculosis.
“In five years, we plan to grow the national tuberculosis laboratory which will not only oversee the laboratories in the country but also in the region making sure that tuberculosis diagnosis is improved,” said Muvunyi.
He added that through the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), UR intends to establish a remarkable stewardship to become a center of excellence.
Leen Rigouts, a Senior Scientific Expert Mycobacteriology Unit at ITM, said that the program is launched in Rwanda but will serve bordering countries to improve health adding that they choose because they had very enthusiastic students from Rwanda and they inspired them to start this program here.
“We are working to improve the diagnosis of TB, malaria and NTDs if we can strengthen the laboratories, and human capacity to do research,” she said.
Official estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Tuberculosis reports show that the incidence of tuberculosis in Rwanda has decreased from 96 patients per 100.000 population in 2000 to 57 patients per 100.000 population in 2020.
This decline of TB incidence in Rwanda represents a decrease of 41% in last 20 years, it said.