Kalina Duncan, MPH '11
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.
Kalina Duncan - Kigali, Rwanda
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- Arrival at the Kigali International Airport in Rwanda on July 2, 2010.
- This view of the valley of Kigali, Rwanda, was my backdrop each morning as I journeyed to King Faisal Hospital to begin work.
- One of many monuments found around Rwanda erected in memory of the lives lost in the terrible events of 1994.
- I passed through this small town on a trip south to Butare to visit the medical school at the National University of Rwanda.
- The School of Public Health, where I spent many hours with staff developing a curriculum for a new Masters’ in Health Care Administration program.
- Drs. Patrick and Emile of King Faisal Hospital celebrate an excellence in teaching award that Dr. Emile received. Dr. Emile was Dr. Patrick’s teacher and mentor at the Faculty of Medicine.
- A common scene in Rwanda. This was on a trek to the Southwest corner of the country to visit a few district hospitals (and the beautiful Nyungwe forest and tea plantations while we were at it).
- I met with a small community of women and children in the Northeast part of the country, near Akagera National Park.
- The people were kind enough to give me the floor to talk about the importance of education and some public health topics.
- Members of the community and my friend Francis (in the stripes) who was gracious enough to introduce me to these fine folks.
- Israel Labao jumps for joy outside Rush University Medical Center wearing his YSPH Summer Internship World Tour T-shirt.
- Some of the biggest fans of the camera in this community.
- With my friend Sam—an aspiring medical student who helped me get to know Kigali in our spare time.
- Assisting in the irrigation of a banana field in Northeast Rwanda.
- The same banana field and one of the residents who works there.
- I’m not a doctor, but occasionally international status wins you honors you haven’t quite earned. Notice the dress code.