ICAP in collaboration with the Kigali Health Institute (KHI) recently launched the Multidisciplinary Team Training (MDT) Project in Rwanda. The MDT Project, funded by Pfizer Inc., is a training initiative that emphasizes intensive mentorship and teamwork to build public health skills among young African professionals. During three months of immersive training, the MDT Project reinforces interdisciplinary collaboration in an environment where health issues are complex and require a diversity of knowledge, skills, and expertise to address.
Six young professionals from Rwanda and Tanzania, with varying backgrounds in nursing, medicine, education, public health and biomedical laboratory sciences, became the first cohort of the MDT Project. Under close mentorship from ICAP and KHI staff, the cohort will work on projects in line with ICAP’s global health initiatives. Several trainees, for example, are working on strengthening ICAPs Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) project, which identifies victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Rwanda, and supports the victims with comprehensive medical and psychosocial care and legal aide. Other trainees are working on a project that increases access to appropriate HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for men who have sex with men.
Initial participant feedback shows that both trainees and mentors are gaining valuable professional lessons from the MDT Project. Trainees noted that their visits with healthcare providers at various facilities have helped them understand the complex nature of the Rwandan health system and have supported their learning of critical skills such as program implementation and evaluation. Mentors are also discovering the professional benefits. Benoite Umubyeyi, a KHI mentor notes, “Mentoring trainees from various backgrounds has been a very rich experience. My work as a mentor in the MDT Project has shown me that local capacity building programs play a crucial role in developing and enhancing health systems.”