A team of 20 exhibitors of health equipment from Shanghai – China have arrived in Rwanda for the Medical Instrument Trade Conference due to take place on March 1 – 2 in Kigali next month.
Bringing together 150 health experts from across the world, the conference will discuss problems in medical supplies in Rwanda and across the world.
According to organizers, some solutions to the problem will be available for Rwandans and regional consumers right at the meeting venue, Kigali Convention Centre.
According to Vedastine Umutoni from VAC Investment, a private investment company that partnered with the Private Sector Federation to organize the event; “exhibitors are bringing 10,000 products.”
Supplies expected at the exhibition range from medical imaging, in vitro diagnosis, electronics, optics, first aid, rehabilitation nursing, medical information technology, transport, pharmaceuticals and outsourcing services.
The conference is one among many global health events to take place in Kigali this year.
A total of 2,200 experts, academicians, health decision makers and traders from across the world have confirmed to attend global summits and exhibitions.
The Global Fund Board Meeting will bring together 250 participants in May, while the Africa Organization for Research and Training in Cancer will convene in November, followed by Health Students’ summit in the same month with a total 800 participants.
The biggest global health event however, is the first Africa Health Forum taking place on June 27 – 28, bringing together 1000 participants.
An official from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said the country won a tender to host these conferences after presenting its success story in hosting global meetings and exhibitions under Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) program.
The program targeted to earn the country $42 Million last year and is targeting $ 55 Million this year.
What Rwandans have to share?
Rwandans already have a position on how global health matters can be solved with all players bringing in their contribution.
A Rwandan medical student has told the World Health Organization (WHO) to stop ignoring submissions from young professionals if they want problems in health sector addressed once and for all.
Israel Bimpe is President of the 90 member country International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), one of the only two organizations that represent young people – students and recent graduates – with official relations to World Health Organization, and International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA).
Bimpe said, their associations are at times invited at WHO important meetings, but their contribution is ignored.
“Our involvement is limited to statements, that are often not considered as part of decision making processes and we are usually disdained for partnerships and pushed down on speaking lists.”
Bimpe, a graduate at University of Rwanda said ignoring young professional ideas is negating better health to future generations.
He said their associations represent over 2 million of the future health workforce and leaders in global health, research and private sector acting in health.
WHO is set to have a new leader elected in May and take office in July.
“I hope for the next WHO Director-General to implement reforms in goal-directed efforts to sufficiently increase the role of organizations such as IPSF and IFMSA in decision-making processes at all levels of WHO,” said Bimpe.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Ethiopia, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health of Ethiopia is one of the three candidates.
Oh his twitter account, he acknowledged receipt of Bimpe’s proposal and said, “Sure. Thank you and please keep in touch.”
Meanwhile, as Shanghai Medical Instrument Trade Conference will be taking place, hundreds of medical students will be sitting their annual after-graduation examination to certify medical practitioners under the Rwanda Allied Health Professional Council (RAHPC).
There is good news to students this year; they will register for free, despite previous years when they were required to pay Rwf 50,000. They always complained it was cumbersome to raise the fee.
“The council has got local partners who pledged to pay registration fee for all the candidates. When their support stops, we shall find an alternative,” Jean Baptiste Ndahiriwe, Registrar at RAHPC told KT Press.