Helping Health Care Associations Survive and Thrive in Rwanda

Dr. Katherine Camacho Carr visits Rwanda as ACNM Global Outreach Consultant

College of Nursing faculty member, Dr. Katherine Camacho Carr, traveled to Rwanda this summer as part of her continued participation in a 5-year Survive and Thrive Global Development Alliance project. Funding is provided by the American College of Nurse-Midwives Global Outreach Department.

Faculty member Kathy Camacho Carr in Rwanda

[Pictured: Dr. Camacho Carr and members of the Rwandan Association of Midwives, the Rwandan OB-Gyn Society, and the Rwandan Pediatric Association]

The Survive and Thrive Project is focused on lowering maternal and child morbidity and mortality by improving maternal and infant care as provided by midwives, obstetricians and pediatricians in low resource settings. The project helps to improve the education of care providers through technical assistance and training. It also promotes the development of professional associations.

The most recent phase of the project is focused on field testing Professional Association Strengthening Modules. The goal is to assist fledgling associations to improve the standards of practice, offer continuing education and plan for increasing the number of qualified midwives, obstetricians and pediatricians. The modules are focused on strengthening and growing professional associations and they cover a range of developmental stages and topics, such as strategic planning, governance, fiscal management, leadership, communications and resource mobilization.

Dr K Camacho Carr in Rwanda on project

[Pictured L to R: Dr. Camacho Carr; Kate McHugh, ACNM Global Outreach; Andrea Momoh, Am College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists; Dr. Cliff O’Callahan, Am Academy of Pediatrics]

As part of a focus group of midwives, pediatricians and obstetricians, Dr. Camacho Carr participated in field testing of modules. She said that the goal of testing was “to find out if the modules were useful, understandable, realistic, and culturally appropriate” for the professional associations and whether they would be helpful in building capacity.

Dr. Camacho Carr will return to Rwanda again in 2017 to focus on working with the Rwandan Association of Midwives for the final phase of the project. When complete, the plan is for modules to be used by the professional associations’ leaders independent from outside consultation.

The ultimate goal of this project will promote life-altering changes in many countries by focusing on the development and strengthening of health care provider education and practice, as well as professional associations.

To learn more about The Survive and Thrive Project visit them online at