Flags of eleven countries were raised high as University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) graduated its seventh cohort with a Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD) on Sunday 28.
The graduation ceremony held at the university’s campus in Butaro sector, Burera district, Northern Province sent off forty-four health professionals to the global market hailing from 11 countries across the world.
Graduates hail from Burundi, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda,United States of America, and Zambia.
They specialized in three courses of health; Health Management (HM), One Health (OH) and Gender and Sexual Reproductive Health (GSRH) – a new program that was added to the program last year.
“What fascinated me about UGHE is the fact that the global health sciences university is based in Rwanda and how the One Health Program is developed with a perspective of the community it is meant to serve” Dr. Mahlet Tadesse Admasu, a graduate from Ethiopia.
The ceremony was graced by First Lady of Rwanda, Jeannette Kagame who is also the Co-chair of the UGHE Africa Advisory Board.
Other guests included Ophelia Dahl, Board Chair of Partners in Health, Lesley King, UGHE Board Chairperson, the Minister of Education, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya and other government officials, representatives from Partners in Health Rwanda, UGHE Partners and Supporters, MGHD graduands and their invited guests as well as UGHE Faculty, staff, students and contractors.
Every year, UGHE graduates health professionals, after students spend a year of studying various courses; principals of global health, One Health, epidemiology, global health policy, sexual reproductive health, entrepreneurship, management, gender equity, health finance, anthropology, history, and leadership.
UGHE offers practical experiences and training, the move that allow students to witness and tackle health inequity challenges by analyzing all social determinants of health that hinder access to healthcare among disadvantaged communities.
“UGHE is proud today to congratulate 44 health professionals who will be joining the 175 UGHE alumni who are committed to delivering equitable quality health care to all leaving no one behind” Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor of UGHE said.
“I urge you to build on the diverse global networks that you have gained while at UGHE combined with the knowledge and skills impacted upon you by UGHE’s world class faculty to impact change not only in your home countries but globally,” she added.
The University (UGHE) held an in-person graduation ceremony for the first time in the past two years, since the world has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Similar events were held virtually to prevent spreading of the virus.
Dr. Binagwaho pointed out that students, staff and faculty of UGHE have been resilient in carrying out the legacy of former University’s Chancellor and Founder, Dr. Paul Farmer who passed away in February this year.
“I will be a global health professional who leads with intentionality, dignity and integrity,” graduates echoed while making their code of honor.
In congratulating graduates, UGHE’s Board Chair, Lesley King thanked the UGHE faculty and staff for their commitment to achieving excellency as they trained the next generation of global health professionals.
Board Chairperson, Ophelia Dahl, said that the success of UGHE is proof that long-term investment and a steadfast focus on equity in healthcare can lead to generational change.
“I hope and trust that today’s graduating class will treat, counsel, heal, and advocate for the most marginalized without discrimination. Your success will testify to the fact that UGHE is a scalable and replicable model of an education system intended to serve all communities,” she stated.
The graduation ceremony was also marked by planting a tree to pay tribute to Dr. Paul Farmer by Mrs. Kagame and Ophelia Dahl.