Shaping the future of healthcare
Olivier Ndahiriwe, from Nyabihu in northern Rwanda, did a master’s in Clinical Immunology thanks to a donation from Chris van Hoorn. As Quality Manager at Rwanda Biomedical Center for the past six years, he has first-hand experience of the limitations of healthcare provision in the country.
What was the previous healthcare situation in Rwanda?
If we have a patient who has an immunological disorder, currently there is no one to diagnose that disease. It means that person may continue with the disease and eventually, without any help, can die.
What surprised you most about coming to Manchester?
I was aware of the University’s reputation for research and teaching before I applied, but I've stilll been surprised. There are people here who have experience of seeing a condition face-to-face,. When they teach you they are talking about real life. They are also leading in research. It is noble to me.
Was it hard moving to Manchester?
I left behind a wife, son and an adopted daughter for the year. Now I only have a few months to go, they have set a countdown and I’m sure they will be happy to see me back again.
How will you have an impact on Rwanda?
My education in Manchester means a great deal – not only to me, but to the country itself, as I'm Rwanda’s first ever clinical immunologist. My biggest contribution will be to raise awareness among health politicians and policymakers. It will have a long-term impact.
How has the scholarship helped you?
I’ve seen that there is humanism in giving to people you don’t know and whom you may never meet. Helping people from the society that I’m from, I know that is what my donor is expecting from me. I can promise them that I will give back. Whether they know it or not – they have taught me to give back.