Rwanda Hosts Summit of Open Source Health Software Consortia

Staff | IGIHE | September 26, 2012

[From] September 24th - 27th 2012 a host of international health information professionals participated in Kigali’s first ever Open Health Information Exchange (OpenHIE) symposium. The symposium brought key open source health software communities together to collaboratively create and deploy an integrated eHealth system for the Rwandan Ministry of Health.

The summit was sponsored by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and hosted by the Rwandan Ministry of Health and Jembi Health Systems, the symposium brought together officers from each of five major free and open source health systems to contribute to the refinement and extension of the OpenHIE system initially being deployed in the Rwamagana district, Eastern Province, Rwanda.

The Rwandan OpenHIE, created by the Rwandan Ministry of Health and partners under the auspices of the PEPFAR funded Rwanda Health Enterprise Architecture (RHEA) Project, is being instantiated to initially support a shared electronic medical record for expectant mothers visiting antenatal clinics in the Rwamagana district and later to support all the other areas of primary and secondary care.

The project is intended to improve maternal care in the district by increasing health workers’ access to high quality medical records. The symposium continues the cutting-edge work begun in Rwanda’s Rwamagana district by the Ministry’s eHealth unit, under the direction of Dr. Richard Gakuba, Director of eHealth for Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, to include medical facilities in all regions of the country as well as extend to support additional clinical and public health areas. This implementation demonstrates how Rwanda’s health care delivery system will be enhanced by OpenHIE using effective open source health tools and collaboration.