JIU students learn from Rwanda’s health systems

By Kanamugire Emmanuel
On 19 September 2022 at 02:37

The summer school exchange program bringing together nursing students from Josai International University (JIU) from Japan and counterparts from the University of Rwanda (UR) has been concluded.

Under this program, a total of 11 students from Japan joined their colleagues in Rwanda since August, 15 this year for an exchange program that was initiated through the support of NPO Think About Education in Rwanda.

The latter is a non-government organization founded in Japan, by a Rwandese lady who was committed to improve child education and health in Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Throughout this month-long program which came to an end during a ceremony held recently on 16th September, the students visited different district and referral hospitals, health centers and community health workers to learn about health systems in Rwanda and other institutions to know more about Rwanda.

Dr. Olive Bazirete, the Dean of Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at UR, said that the main reason behind this program is to develop a global partnership in healthcare systems.

“We are grateful to this partnership and we are looking forward to continued collaboration and development of more projects. This should not only be considered in the context of having this student exchange program, but also we can have the faculty of Josai coming to Rwanda and UR going to Japan,” she said.

“We have learnt a lot of things. What impressed us most is the medical system which is different from Japan including the small number of hospitalization days and the use of drones to transport blood from the transfusion centers,” said Ms. Megumi Uchida, one of students from JIU.

“I also got to know a lot from some initiatives that I would like to see introduced in Japan such as enabling hospitals to provide counseling and provide protection to victims of domestic violence,” she added.

The summer exchange provided the opportunity to interact not only with students but also with people of all ages and to deepen their ideas about lifestyles, societies and education.

It has been an opportunity for JIU and UR students to deepen their understanding of the health sector, culture and to reflect and share as future leaders.

JIU nursing students also visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial to learn about Rwanda history.

Innocent Twizerimana, a UR student said that such summer exchange is very important, however much expensive it is.
“For it to be a full exchange, people should come to Rwanda and vice versa,” he noted.
Twizerimana said that UR students also learnt a lot about the Japanese health system.
“The Japanese government encourages people to get fully vaccinated to develop resistance against pandemics. We found that it could help our country to improve the current vaccination system. Another thing we learned is the way Josai University puts a lot of effort in research to develop resilience against shocks in the health sector,” he revealed.

The president and founder of NPO Think About Education in Rwanda, Mrs. Towari Marie Louise, urged the participants of the summer exchange platform to build on the connection they have created.

“Don’t leave the connection here, please bring them back and you Rwandese, please keep them. If you don’t keep the connection, it’s going to disappear but if you continue connecting, I believe something good will happen,” she said.

“As you have visited many places, remember that you met someone, remember to connect and keep the telephone number in your mind. It’s not by accident, it’s for a purpose we meet. See the millions and millions of people living in the world but we are here together. This is a miracle. Let’s build on it and provide another good future for a new generation coming after us,” added Towari.

About JIU

JIU was founded in 1992 by the Josai University Corporation in the city of Togane, Chiba Prefecture, about 90 minutes from downtown Tokyo. Josai University Corporation was established in 1965 by Mikio Mizuta who was Minister of Finance for a total of twelve years starting in 1960. The university offers a four-year undergraduate program as well as a graduate program. There are undergraduate schools or faculties: Faculty of Management and Information Sciences; Faculty of International Humanities; Faculty of Media Studies; Faculty of Social Work Studies; Faculty of Tourism;Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Faculty of Nursing.
There are four graduate schools; Graduate School of Humanities; Graduate School of Management and Information Sciences; Graduate School of Social Studies; and Graduate School of Business Design. Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Graduate School of International Administration.At present, the university has over 6,000 students, including the undergraduate student body and the graduate program. Many of the students come from various foreign countries.

About UR

The University of Rwanda is Rwanda’s largest higher education institution. The University of Rwanda was formed in 2013 through the merger of previously independent public institutions of higher education, the largest of which was the National University of Rwanda.

Initial work to establish the institution was undertaken by Professor Paul Davenport, a member of Paul Kagame’s Presidential Advisory Council, who now acts as chair of the university’s board of governors. The University of Rwanda was established in September 2013 by a law that repealed the laws establishing the National University of Rwanda and the country’s other public higher education institutes, creating the UR in their place.

At the time of its creation, education officials reported that they "hoped that the university will improve the quality of education and effectively respond to current national and global needs"

The training exchange programme was concluded recently on 16th September 2022.
Students were urged to take advantage of the summer exchange platform.
One of participants received a certificate of completion.