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About the Blueprint for Innovative Access to Healthcare Program launch in Rwanda

The Blueprint for Innovative Healthcare Access Program (BP), is an innovative and integrated model for care for cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). BP, consisting of various implementing partners collaboratively working together, aims to achieve end-to-end solutions for cancer and other NCDs care and control across a patient’s journey. This includes community awareness, health education, screening, early detection, diagnosis, optimal and personalized treatment, palliative care, survivorship care, training, research, and advancing policies in sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, as of 2021, this program is in its 3rd implementation year in Meru County. In Rwanda, it is in its 1st Implementation year.

ICI leads the technical and administrative functions for the BP Programs in partnership with the specific country or county leadership. ICI’s contribution to the implementation of BP is categorized under 6 core pillars: Clinical Care; Education and Training; Community Health Office; Leadership and Administration; Data management and ICT; Telemedicine and Telepathology services. These interventions occur at all levels of the healthcare system as appropriate and are integrated across the patient’s journey to mitigate barriers to access to optimal care and improve outcomes.

ICI – Rwanda Blueprint for Innovative Access to Healthcare Program

The ICI team in partnership with the Ministry of Health Rwanda, Human Resources for Health secretariat and Rwanda Biomedical Center, held multiple meetings with key stakeholders within the cancer care and control continuum in Rwanda between 2019 and 2020. Jointly we identified pertinent gaps within the cancer patients’ journey. Following these meetings, both ICI and Rwandan Implementation teams – led by MOH Rwanda,  Human Resources of Health (HRH), and Rwanda Biomedical Services (RBC) – worked together to synthesize and develop an implementation plan with other stakeholders to mitigate these gaps and strengthen the public health care system, with an ultimate goal of improving cancer patients journey.

The objectives for the subsequent meetings were to present the Blueprint for Innovative Access to Healthcare Program (BP) implementation plan that has been jointly developed by both the input from the various partners as well as the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MOH).

On Friday, September 10th, 2021, ICI jointly held a successful implementing partners’ meeting for the Rwanda BP program in Kigali. This marks the official physical launch of the ICI – Rwanda MOH partnership through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by both parties. ICI supported projects, like the Rwanda Cancer Relief (RCR) National Multidisciplinary Tumor Boards Progress report, were also presented at the meeting.

The Guest of Honor during the launch, Hon. Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi (HRH Executive Secretary), who represented the Cabinet Minister for Health, lauded efforts and dedication of the ICI team and implementing partners for this one of a kind pioneering integrated program that will not only enhance care and control services in Rwanda but be a leading example for sub-Saharan Africa.

The co-implementing partners present during the launch included the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MOH), HRH, RBC, Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima (PIH/IMB), University of Rwanda (UR), University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), University Teaching Hospital of Butare (CHUB), King Faisal Hospital, Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH), Rwanda Cancer Centre (RCC), Rwanda Cancer Relief (RCR), Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa (BCIEA), Palliative Care organizations like African Center for Research on End of Life Care (ACREOL) & Hospice St Jean Paul II, Vine & Continentale, Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance-Rwanda (NCDA) and Rwanda Insurers Association.

ICI team of Prof. Chite Asirwa (Executive Director of ICI and Principal Investigator of BP), Dr. Christian Ntizimira (ICI Program Manager – Rwanda BP Program), Edwin Odoyo (ICI Program Manager – Kenya BP Program), Denis Munene (ICI BP Kenya Program Coordinator) and Pamela Were (ICI Chief Outreach Coordinator) were also present.

Edwin Odoyo (ICI Program Manager -– BP Kenya Program) discussing highlights from the BP programme in Kenya and prerequisites for a successful program during the BP Rwanda stakeholders’ meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.

Pamela Were (ICI Chief Outreach Coordinator) addressing the audience at the launch on ICI’s achievements on cancer screening in Kenya during the BP Rwanda stakeholder’s meeting from the BP programme.     

Denis Munene (ICI Program Coordinator – BP Kenya Program) discussing the process of stakeholders’ engagement for the BP programme in Kenya during the BP Rwanda stakeholders’ meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.

Prof. Chite Asirwa (Executive Director of ICI and Principal Investigator of BP) discussing and illustrating the BP Rwanda programme and key elements for its implementation plan during the stakeholder’s meeting in Kigali, in Rwanda.