Partnership for strengthening clinical, infrastructure and human resource capacity in research for Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH)

Partnership between Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) and Regional Alliance for Sustainable Development (RASD Rwanda).


Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) is a military referral hospital that provides health care services to the military, their immediate families and the civilian population within the vicinities of the hospital and its collaborating Satellite District Hospital and Health Centers. The hospital particularly opened its doors to the general population after 1994 war. RMH offers health services to 80% civilian and 20% military patients. The new strategic direction for RMH focuses on referral hospital (and teaching) activities. The 5-year strategic plan (2011-16) defines the parameters for making RMH a fully fledged referral hospital of excellence. The Government of Rwanda, through the Ministries of Health and Defense, is committed to offering quality health care services to the military and the general population through strengthening and refocusing RMH in terms of infrastructure, building human resource capacity, equipment and management systems. Development partners are encouraged to work with the Government to ensure that RMH has the required capacities to deliver quality services as a referral and teaching hospital.

RASD Rwanda is an International Non Governmental Organization working in Rwanda, whose aim is to provide care to women to reduce all cause morbidity and mortality particularly increasing access to HIV-specific services. RASD implements services in partnership with Government of Rwanda institutions & development partners. RASD has undertaken administrative duties to implement several research and capacity building projects like training Masters level epidemiologists & biostaticians, specialists in Human pathology and other health cadres. RASD is currently implementing the AIDS related Malignancy Capacity building project and International Epidemiologic Database to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) research project in Central Africa among others. The organization’s goals are synergistic to the Government of Rwanda and Ministry of Health vision of developing scientific capacity and biomedical research by training active independent research teams who can publish and compete successfully for national, regional and international leadership and resources for research.

RMH and RASD hereby sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate to implement various clinical research, develop research infrastructure and build the capacity of Rwandans in research


The purpose of this partnership is to strengthen clinical, infrastructure and human resource capacity in research for Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) through

(i) Mutual collaborations to apply for funding together in order to strengthen clinical, infrastructure and human resource capacity in research for Rwanda Military Hospital

(ii) The aim will also be to mutually collaborate to install and implement OpenMRS at RMH and the satellite health centers in Kicukiro district that serve RMH as a teaching and referral hospital

(iii) RASD will build capacity for Human Resources for Health in Research by provision of support towards short term trainings in research, research fellowships and long term traings for the hospitals’ staff within

(iv) The aim will be for RASD to provide possible resources for research facilities, develop human resources, provide support staff, train staff in data analysis and publications.

The following are tasks and responsibilities of the RMH

1. Provinding a conducive environment and support necessary to implement various research and capacity building endevours related (but not limited) to HIV care and treatment and other AIDS related comorbidities

2. Supervising all RMH staff who will be working on research studies mainly IeDEA study, and other studies

3. Collaborate to ensure to develop and improve database of patients’ records collected for IeDEA project and AIDS related malignancy (ARM) capacity building study

4. Provide support to ensure quality data collection, ensuring data completeness and quality according to dictionary of variables in the OpenMRS

5. Collaboration to ensure that research project activities do not interfere with the usual clinical and laboratory services, while ensuring that both research and clinical functions are complementary

Communicate in a timely manner and quickly any need for project modification prior to its implementation, and any concerns about program activities, goals and operations

7. Provide the necessary support to increasing the volumes of data collection activities aimed at increasing number and quality of variables of patients records in the database

8. Ensure that patient confidentiality is maintained at all times and that data provided to IeDEA are "de-identified" or "anonymized".

The following are tasks and responsibilities of RASD:

1. Provision of in-country health care and nursing support, administrative support to implement IeDEA study project according the requirements of the funding organization i.e. National Institutes of Health (NIH) US and in accordance with Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) requirements

2. Provision and setting up of IT infrastructure including OpenMRS at the Rwanda Military Hospital

3. Support to provide allowances for staff who will collect secondary HIV/AIDS data abstraction at agreed upon sites

4. Provide training of staff (data manager & clerk) who will work on IeDEA project on data collection procedures, reporting formats and troubleshooting all details of the project activities as necessary

5. RASD will provide synergistic scientific capacity training and resources to effectively use data collected from IeDEA sites, which will be provided through other funding sources

6. Provision/collaboration on reports/ publication writing using data collected at various sites under RMH where IeDEA will be implemented

7. Support RMH staff to to attend/present abstracts at regional and international conferences to ensure that IeDEA data collected are appropriately utilized to plan writing manuscripts for publication

8. Communicate in a timely manner and quickly any need for project modification prior to its implementation, and any concerns about program activities, goals and operations

9. Collaborate and communicate on data checks on quality before uploading of data

10. Strengthen existing collaborations to build population based cancer registry (PBCR), and link these data to HIV IeDEA data in order to determine population based cancer rates and incidence in HIV infected persons

11. In order to utilize effectively data for scientific productivity:

a. Data will be used for training various people from Rwanda militatry hospital

b. Separate project data sharing agreements will be made, agreed upon and signed starting with IeDEA sharing agreement

c. Use IeDEA data to support RMH for patient care and site report for HIV/AIDS that can be submitted other funding agents

12.Any other possible activities that may be possible depending on funding sources

Agreed upon partnership on short term trainings will include the following:

a)The in-house research short term trainings will be in the following areas: Introduction to Research, research methodology, Research Ethics, Good clinical and laboratory practice, research design, proposal and scientific writing, grant writing and application, career development

The facility trainings outside Rwanda will be mutually agreed upon by both parties

To support for strenthening clinical research and facilities will enble RMH to achieve its mission to become a research, a national referral and training hospital.

To collaboratively design research proposals, grant applications and carry out collaborative research with the aim of publishing in high impact journals, provision of evidence based data translating to policy development and revision leading to improved health service provision and teaching of medical students.

Both RMH and RASD agree to seek for funding for long term trainings:
a) Research Fellowship trainings.

b) Staff trainings in biostatistics & Epidemiology.

Trainings in Clinical trials study design and implementation

d) Trainings in Medical Ethics

e) Trainings to the level of PhD in the field of Medical biostatistics

Agreed upon Equipment necessary for RMH include:
RASD will support RMH in providing mutually agreed upon and relevant infrastructure for research that may include the following equipments:

A: Administrative

(1) Conference table

(2) Desk top computers

Secure file cabinets

(4) Laptops

(5) printers

(6) Scanners

(7) Photocopy machines

(8) Hire support staff for research development

B: Clinical/Research

(1) Microtome for pathology lab (and all accessories)

(2) Paraffin Wax Embedding Center (and all accessories)

(3) Accessories e.g. blades etc