Agnes Binagwaho Is A Doctor With ‘Sassitude’

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho during a visit to Butaro District Hospital in January 2016. Photo by Zacharias Abubeker for UGHE.

Years before she became the health minister of Rwanda, Agnès Binagwaho tried to lock a fellow pediatrician in a hospital room. She saw a doctor in an examining room with a mother who held her sick daughter in her arms. And he was asleep.

Binagwaho was appalled. She examined the girl herself in a separate room and then asked a nurse to shut the door on the doctor, who wouldn’t be able to get out without the nurse’s key.

The medical staff wasn’t too pleased. “They found me more guilty for trying to close him in that room for the night than him for mistreating the kid who could have died,” she says.

Throughout her life, Binagwaho — affectionately called “Dr. Agnès” by colleagues — has been unafraid to defy authority by speaking her mind. In the process, she has helped to transform Rwanda’s health system.

[Read the full article at NPR]