Rwanda’s national EMS system

The Rwandan Ministry of Health’s Jean Marie Uwitonze and Dr. Sudha Jayaraman discuss the jewel in the crown of African Ambulance Services

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In this episode of EMS One-Stop, our host, Rob Lawrence, kicks off a series on international EMS, interviewing EMS leaders across the globe on how their systems are operated, the challenges they face and the successes they have had.

Rob begins his podcast journey with Rwanda, a country and EMS system close to his heart. Rob has advised the Rwandan EMS system and monitored their progress for many years. In this episode, he welcomes Rwandan EMS Leader Jean Marie Uwitonze from the Rwandan Ministry of Health, Division of EMS; and U.S. Trauma Surgeon Dr. Sudha Jayaraman, director of the Center for Global Surgery at the University of Utah.

Rwanda is one of the only countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to have a publicly run, national ambulance service, which was established in 2007. Uwitonze highlights the development of EMS, and training and certification levels in Rwanda, as well as the next major project to develop and enhance emergency communications across the country.

Dr. Jayaraman describes her involvement (for over a decade) in the development of EMS in the country and notes, “We all know that there is no point in having a wonderfully qualified surgeon in the hospital if there is no means to get the patient there.”

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