Rwanda Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

El corazón de la nueva escuela médica de África

SAN FRANCISCO – Ruanda ha obtenido algunos de los progresos más impresionantes en materia de salud y reducción de la pobreza en el mundo. Este pequeño país africano sin litoral (del tamaño de Massachusetts, pero con el doble de habitantes) ha desarrollado un sistema de atención médica primaria con un acceso casi universal a la atención clínica y al seguro médico. Ruanda ha reducido tanto la desigualdad económica como en atención médica, y demuestra cómo la "equidad sanitaria" ayuda a construir sociedades fuertes.

El secreto del éxito de Ruanda es que sus líderes están construyendo "instituciones modernas sobre la base de valores tradicionales". Construyeron un sistema de justicia comunitaria, llamado Gacaca, que integró su necesidad de una reconciliación a nivel nacional con una antigua tradición de clemencia. Volvieron a inyectarle vida a la tradición cívica de Umuganda, donde un día por mes los ciudadanos, inclusive el presidente, se reúnen para desmalezar los campos, limpiar las calles y construir casas para los más pobres.

En 2015, el gobierno de Ruanda y Partners In Health (PIH) con sede en Boston, con la ayuda de la Fundación Bill & Melinda Gates y la Fundación Cummings, inauguraron la Universidad de Equidad Sanitaria Global (UGHE por su sigla en inglés), una entidad privada sin fines de lucro. La universidad se fundó en base al principio de que todo miembro de la comunidad merece la misma atención y oportunidad, y se centra en ofrecer atención médica de calidad a quienes más la necesitan. Agnes Binagwaho, una de las fundadoras de la UGHE que fue ministra de Salud y profesora adjunta en la Facultad de Medicina de Harvard, una vez me dijo: "¿Por qué querría criar a mis hijos en un país donde no todos los niños reciben la misma atención médica que ellos?"

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