To read this content please select one of the options below:

Assessing the capacity to produce health personnel in Rwanda

Gilles Dussault (Health Systems Unit, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)
Laurence Codjia (Centre Africain d'Études supérieures en Gestion (CESAG), Dakar, Senegal)
Kathy Kantengwga (Management Sciences for Health (MSH); HIV PBF project, Kigali, Rwanda)
Kate Tulenko (World Bank, Washington, DC, USA)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 3 October 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a study to assess the capacity of a poor country to scale‐up its production of health workers.


The assessment consisted of a survey of institutions training doctors, nurses and technicians in Rwanda. Data on student intake, teaching staff, infrastructures and equipment were collected directly from the institutions by questionnaire administered in person. Data for the qualitative assessment of current and future capacity of production were collected by interviews.


Physical capacity in terms of classrooms and dormitories was generally good, except at the Faculty of Medicine. Laboratories and libraries were considered inadequate everywhere. Few national teachers hold a PhD and dependence on foreign trainers is high. Nursing teachers' training is also insufficient, particularly in pedagogy. As trainers are young, providing them with additional training should be easier. All institutions reported insufficient budgets. Managerial competencies are not developed. There is no licensing mechanism to ensure quality maintenance.

Research limitations/implications

There is no validated data base on training institutions and the research had to rely on self‐reported statistics and other information.

Practical implications

A rapid increase in the production of health personnel would be difficult in the current conditions. Production strengthening should involve stakeholders from training institutions, and include measures to motivate and retain trainers, and to improve the quality of training.


The authors are not aware of similar studies in low income countries. Their methodology can be of interest to researchers and policy‐makers who do not have access to baseline data.



Dussault, G., Codjia, L., Kantengwga, K. and Tulenko, K. (2008), "Assessing the capacity to produce health personnel in Rwanda", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 290-306.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles