Rwandan OpenMRS Training course

We’re now entering the third week of the E-Health: Software Development and Implementation course (or EHSDI) in Rwanda. (Which means this blog post is about two weeks too late, but who’s counting?)

The government of Rwanda has chosen to use OpenMRS as a national medical record system, used at all health facilities, as part of the country’s Vision 2020. This sort of nationwide rollout will require local technicians, data managers, and programmers to implement, manage, and further develop software modules to address Rwanda’s clinical needs.

To help achieve this goal, the International Development Research Centre is funding an innovative technical mentorship program to train Rwandan programmers to be local software developers for OpenMRS. EHSDI is run primarily by Partners In Health and the Rwandan Information Technology Authority. Ten students were selected from the recent graduates of top Rwandan universities after a rigorous written exam and interview. The three mentors are experienced computer programmers, and the program will also include presentations by guest lecturers from Rwanda, and other countries.

The first portion of the curriculum covers web, Java, and enterprise technologies used in OpenMRS, as well as medical informatics topics. During the second stage, students will use their new knowledge to develop OpenMRS modules that have been requested by future users in Rwanda.

We plan to duplicate this program in other countries, using training materials developed during EHSDI, and hopefully under the leadership and expertise of the new Rwandan students.

Questions about the program? Amy Tang ( is the project manager.

Want to give a guest lecture on Java, OpenMRS, or medical informatics? In person or over a video link? Let Amy know about that too.

Also, we have one open mentor position, and others will open down the road, so if you’re interested, then check out the job posting

Rwandan OpenMRS Training course

6 thoughts on “Rwandan OpenMRS Training course

  1. Hi Amy,
    I called I’m an IT consultant here in Rwanda for 2 years, I swa this blog and was very interted by this project and want to be part of the team. Regarding Java, I had been a java developer and criated an application for EMR in 2005. Due to market need I shifted to .NET but still love JAVA.
    If you can integrate me I’d be very happy to resume back to JAVA Technologies.

    Thank you very much.

  2. It never ceases to amaze me why Governments are willing to stifle competition and adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to software solutions. While I commend the Rwanda Government for adopting a national ID system for patients (managing the pandemic from the top down is really important), I believe they are being very narrow minded if they are indeed standardizing on a single software platform for all clinics. Where OpenMRS falls short, the Government of Rwanda will fall short. I would advocate for a standard set of indicators and minimum data set but advocating for a mandatory software platform is digital suicide IMHO.

  3. The plan of the government is to find an EMR system that can support a range of healthcare delivery including primary care as well as HIV and TB in very remote and resource poor areas. It also needs to support standards like HL7 and SNOMED, and be open source so that they own and control the code and data. That narrows the field a wee bit…

    This month there is a meeting in Kigali on ehealth standards to define what types of system are needed, their required functionality, the data exchanged between them and the data exchange standards. If other systems can do all that is required then there will be the option of switching OpenMRS out and using the alternative.

    I should also point out that in health information systems too much competition is at least as bad as too little. There are over 660 EMR systems for primary care in the US and only 15% of Drs use any. In the UK there are 4 or 5 systems, more than 99% of patient records are electronic and Drs fight to keep the systems especially the top rated one. Too much competition is like having too many cell phone standards.

  4. Dear Sir,
    I would like to be party in EHSDI Training Course for being more efficient in openMRS implementer in all services in District hospitals in Rwanda.
    I have currently finished all courses in health Informatics Masters Program and I have presented my Theses which entitled the ”Determinants Associated to Adoption and scale up of OpenMRS in All services In District Hospital” at University of Rwanda.
    I have Bachelors’ Degree in Public health with background in nursing.
    Furthermore, I am motivated, hardworking, and I learn quickly. I will be available on a full-time during my training.
    I am very interested in the hands-on aspect of this training, and I will be able to start any time that you will have accepted my application.
    Thank you very much for considering my request,

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