On 7 February, the Rwanda Military Hospital Kanombe opened a medical simulation centre that, according to the Commandant, Brig.Gen. Dr. Emmanuel Ndahiro, will provide military personnel with the emergency and rescue skills necessary to save the lives of peacekeepers injured while on missions.
Built by the hospital at a cost of Rwandan Francs 225 million (U$275,000), the ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Brig.Gen Ndahiro and US Ambassador to Rwanda, Erica J. Barks-Ruggles. The ambassador noted the US support was entirely in keeping with cooperation in peacekeeping missions between the two nations, pointing out that Rwanda is the fifth largest contributor of troops to such missions globally and the second in Africa, after Ethiopia. The US already has a partnership with the African Peace Keeping Laboratory and Distance programme under the developing African Peace & Security Architecture.
Skills laboratories within the centre have already been used to ‘train the trainers’ in techniques to deal with cardiac arrest and major medical trauma, using computer-based simulations and mannequins replicating patient symptoms.