Kalina Duncan, MPH '11

Kigali, Rwanda

 

Rwanda has made an impressive recovery in the 16 years since the genocide that continues to shape its history. The country excels in education, innovation and is considered to be one of the pearls of East Africa. The government has recently focused on improving health care and health care delivery systems in this densely populated nation. I spent my summer working directly with the Ministry of Health and the National University of Rwanda’s School of Public Health and Faculty of Medicine to build a clinician exchange and education program and a Masters in Healthcare Administration. My internship, born of a partnership between Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute and the Rwandan government, placed me in the capital of Kigali for two months to implement a project plan to get these two long-term programs off the ground. I worked directly with the faculty of the School of Public Health and the School of Medicine as well as leaders and management from the leading hospital in Rwanda—King Faisal Hospital. The internship opened my eyes to the challenges and rewards of starting a partnership in a developing country. It taught me, first-hand, how to work closely with country leaders, non-governmental organizations and other groups, working toward the betterment of a community. The skills that I gained this summer will allow me to approach public health with a more global perspective and prepare me for a long career path after Yale.