Agnes Binagwaho

Lessons from Rwanda's journey to an equitable health system

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About Agnes Binagwaho

Rwandan pediatrician Agnes Binagwaho returned to her country in 1996, two years after the devastating genocide that ravaged Rwandan society and infrastructure. Since then, Agnes has served in a number of high-level government positions and played a pivotal role in building an equitable healthcare system, first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National AIDS Control Commission, then as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and then as Minister of Health. Agnes completed her MD at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, her MA in Pediatrics at the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, and her Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics. Currently, she is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, and a Professor of the Practice of Global Health Delivery and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity.

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About This Talk

Upon returning to her native country of Rwanda after the devastating 1994 genocide, pediatrician Agnes Binagwaho found a country—and a health system—in desperate need of help. Compelled to strengthen the war-torn country and to give its people hope for the future, Agnes worked her way up to becoming Rwanda’s Minister of Health, where she led efforts to rebuild the country’s health system from scratch.

Watch Agnes's 2017 TEDMED Talk to be inspired by her work to create an equitable health system and to empower fellow Rwandans to take a lead role in the fight for better health care. 

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