Capacity Building in Open Medical Record System (OpenMRS) in Rwanda

The Government of Rwanda recognizes that information and communication technologies (ICTs) have the potential to allow the Ministry of Health to collect health information more effectively and allocate resources more efficiently, thereby improving health service delivery. Partners in Health (PIH), an international nongovernmental organization, has demonstrated the usefulness of an open source electronic medical record system (OpenMRS) at six clinical sites in Rwanda. The Ministry has decided to roll out OpenMRS nationally to track patient-level medical information for improved healthcare delivery. Two institutions - PIH and the Ministry of Health/Treatment and Research AIDs Centre (MoH/TRAC) - have been asked to spearhead the process. Rolling out OpenMRS will, however, require significant human resources to ensure that the country can maintain the system without outside help and on a sustainable basis.

This grant will support the first stage of an intensive and cyclical training program for Rwandan junior programmers and students, to be implemented by PIH and MoH/TRAC in collaboration with the Rwanda Information Technology Authority (RITA) and two local academic institutions: the National University of Rwanda (NUR) and the Kigali Institute of Technology (KIST). The program will involve a mentoring process by highly-qualified computer programmers and distance learning. Project outputs will include at least three customized OpenMRS modules addressing MoH needs; nine highly skilled local programmers to act as mentors; the pilot of a robust OpenMRS program with multiple mentors and teams of trainees; and a document incorporating experiences, lessons learned and recommendations from the pilot to guide the scale-up effort.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, June 2, 2008

End Date

Friday, June 15, 2012


18 months

IDRC Officer

Mahmood, Qamar

Total funding

CA$ 659,181


Rwanda, North of Sahara, South of Sahara

Project Leader

Hamish Fraser


Partners in Health

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website