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King Faisal Hospital To Become A Regional Medical College

by Daniel Sabiiti
6:59 pm

King Faisal Hospital Rwanda (KFHR) has outlined a new strategy that will enable them to grow from a teaching referral hospital to a regional state-of-the art medical college and a medical tourism destination.

Dr. Augustin Sendegeya, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at KFH Rwanda said that some of the projects in the next three to five years will include increasing treatment services (specialized), infrastructure (buildings), skilled human resources and equipment.

For instance, on treatment of specialized cases, Sendegeya showed that since May 2023, 18 cases of kidney transplant were successfully handled and are being followed up at King Faisal Hospital.

Sendegeya revealed that for heart diseases, KFH has worked on 173 surgery cases for children and 16 cases for the adults.

“The adult heart surgery doesn’t have a permanent schedule but we plan on making it consistent,” Sendegeya said during a press briefing this February 9, 2024.

Kidney transplant and heart surgery are new specialized services in Rwanda that are only available at KHFR facility in Kigali. The availability of this treatment is expected to reduce costs of sending patients for treatment abroad, especially to India.

Dr. Augustin Sendegeya, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at KFH

Dr. Augustin Sendegeya, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at KFH Rwanda.Sendegeya also said that as the life expectancy of Rwandans keeps increasing (currently at about 70 years), KFH has initiated new treatment to cover such cases as they are expected to surface.

This has seen KFH hire a Geriatric specialist (providing care for the unique health needs of the elderly), rheumatology services for treating joint diseases, and brain care services – adding neurologist services to the existing neurosurgery service at the hospital).

“We now have a special wing for neurology services and care but we are also planning to have more services added,” Sendegeya said.

With an increasing number of patient consultations (over 90,000 per annum of which only 10% are hospitalized), the hospital plans to construct a new building which will contain more 600 beds adding to the existing 160-beds.

“In the next three to five years, we will be able to add more 600 beds. This comes with increase in services. The feasibility study is underway to have a structure which will respond to the demand for health services,” Dr. Sendegeya said stating the details of the project will be revealed soon.

Inside the KFHR Catheterization laboratory (Cath Lab)- the only one in Rwanda.

KFH College, Medical Tourism Ambitions

KFHR says that they plan to become a medical college adding to the existing ones such as University of Rwanda, University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), and the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA).

As one of the steps, last year, KFHR commenced a sub-specialty fellowship training program which includes specialties in pediatric surgery, interventional cardiology; nephrology and kidney transplant.

The collaborative hospital fellowship program, which takes at least two to three years, is conducted by Rwandan specialists and foreign operating at KFH as medics full time or part time basis; and the first cohort of Fellows is expected to graduate soon.

This, according to Dr. Sendegeya, plans are in high gear and one of the steps taken to elevate KFHR standards to become a medical college has been to kick start the establishment of a Residence Program which involves training specialties.

“We have the concept which won’t fail but the timing is too soon. We still need accreditation of which is in the process,” Dr. Sendegeya said.

More 600 similar patient’s beds to be added at KFHR

Sendegeya revealed that there are more specialties in the pipeline, which include the heart surgery (for general surgeons) however with plans to increase medical tourism especially following the hospital acquiring a Catheterization laboratory (Cath Lab)- the only one in Rwanda.

Most foreigners come to KFHR for general check-ups, cancer treatment, brain tumors, heart treatment, spin surgery among others.

These new developments will add to the recently added infrastructure at KFHR.

These include a new Out Patient Department (OPD) facility and maternity ward, Rusaro clinic (VIP wing), and acquired equipment such as a state of the art 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine, Gastroenterology equipment for procedures such as endoscopy and catheterization laboratory.

King Faisal Hospital has been undergoing an upgrade since January 2020.

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