The Department of Anesthesiology – and the University of Virginia as a whole – has a major focus of effort in Rwanda. We participate in several programs, and have initiated others.

Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society / American Society of Anesthesiologists

A joint program by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Committee on Global Humanitarian Outreach and the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation (CASIEF) assists the anesthesiology residency program in Rwanda. US and Canadian faculty members, accompanied by residents, travel there for a month at a time, to assist with lectures, in-OR teaching and simulation training. The primary goal is to train residents and to teach the local anesthesiologists the skills to become effective teachers. A short video about this program is available here. We typically send one faculty member with one or two residents for a month each year.

Several faculty and residents have blogged their experiences during these intensive trips:

2019 – Kamilla Esfahani and Brittany Aeschlimann, CA2
2018 – Mohamed Tiouririne and Jacob Bray, CA3
2017 – Marcel Durieux and Kamilla Esfahani, CA2
2014 – Marcel Durieux and Paul DeMarco, CA3
2013 – Mohamed Tiouririne and Albert Ardon
2012 – Marcel Durieux and Kristi Rose, CA2


Human Resources for Health in Rwanda

Human Resources for Health (HRH) is a joint initiative of Rwanda and the US to strengthen the health care delivery system in Rwanda over a period of seven years.

The University of Virginia participates in the areas of Surgery and Anesthesiology, sending physicians for durations of several months to years to help train residents and mentor junior faculty. The program is not open to residents.

Anesthesiology faculty for HRH is coordinated by three institutions: the University of Virginia, Dartmouth, and Harvard.  Since the program inception in 2012, seven anesthesiologists have been placed in Rwanda through our department.  The program is now decreasing gradually in scope as the number of Rwandan residents and physicians increases. It will close in 2019.

Case teleconferences

We organize a monthly case teleconference between our department and the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Rwanda. Alternating by month, each side presents an interesting case for discussion. The teleconference is moderated by faculty on both sides, and residents can participate or present a case. If offers faculty, residents and medical students with an interest in global health, but without the option to travel, an excellent way to have face-to-face clinical interaction with their counterparts in Rwanda.

Student Research Projects

Most years, undergraduate and medical students travel to Rwanda over the summer for 6-week research projects. This program is mentored by Dr. Marcel Durieux and sponsored by the Center for Global Health. Projects are typically coordinated through the Department of Anesthesiology in Rwanda, and research focuses on retrospective assessment of outcomes of surgery and intensive care.

Student clinical rotations

It is possible for 4th year medical students to do clinical rotations in Rwanda. Dr. Durieux coordinates these rotations.

Rwanda, PACU Rwanda - calming child Rwanda-Charlottesville2 Rwanda - RHINO Rwanda -  NYAMIRAMBO MKT Rwanda - Nyungwe Forest Rwanda - GIRAFFE Rwanda Church Rwanda - HR for Health project
Children’s Choir at Église Presbytérienne au Rwanda on Easter Sunday