• Article

Health Care in Post-War Rwanda Re-establishing a National Hospital Using a Mentor Approach



To describe the rehabilitation of a large referral hospital amid the civil war in Rwanda, and to discuss the effectiveness of a mentor approach in re-establishing the facility's administrative structure.


A mentor administrative design was used to re-establish the hospital personnel structure. This approach linked Rwandan health workers with foreign medical consultants. Formal interviews to evaluate the acceptance and effectiveness of the mentor administration model were conducted with foreign and Rwandan administrative staff. Six month retrospective review of hospital demographics (August 1994-January 1995) was compared to 1993 pre-war data (January-December, 1993).


The Central Hospital of Kigali, a 600 bed facility in Rwanda, East Africa.


Rwandan and foreign administrators, non-government relief organizations (NGOs), United Nations Military forces, and patients presenting to the Central Hospital.


The hospital became fully functional in August of 1994. Both foreign and Rwandan administrators surveyed stated that the mentor program was effective but the hospital would ultimately require external financial support for sustainability. A total of 38,042 patients were treated at the hospital during the six month study period. Compared to 1993 pre-war data, there was a substantial increase in both the overall patient volume and the number of traumatic injuries. Despite this, the case fatality ratio during the post-war period was significantly lower.


A mentor approach was utilized to re-establish the administrative structure of the Central Hospital of Kigali. The facility was able to successfully function despite a larger patient volume compared to the pre-war period. This collaborative effort between NGOs and Rwandan personnel resulted in the development of a sustainable administrative and medical program. The use of a mentor administration may serve as a model for future rehabilitative efforts abroad.


VanRooyen, MJ., Erickson, TB., Jones, PW., Townes, DA., Jurkowski, ET., & Levy, P. (1997). Health Care in Post-War Rwanda: Re-establishing a National Hospital Using a Mentor Approach. The Journal of health administration education, 15(2), 101 - 111.