UGHE's 2021 Global Health Summer Bootcamp




The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is a global health sciences university based in Rwanda and initiative of Partners In Health. Through its proven equity agenda, it strives to train the next generation of global health leaders and change makers to deliver more equitable, quality health services for all. UGHE is committed to providing a holistic education for all its students, equipping them with the tools to go on to maintain, repair and strengthen equitable health systems across the world, that leave no one out. To help future leaders acquire a deep understanding of the complex interplay between health-care systems and the social determinants of health affecting in particular the world’s most vulnerable, UGHE has developed an annual Global Health Summer Bootcamp.  

UGHE’s Office of the Vice Chancellor hosts a cohort of summer interns every year with the aim of developing young global health leaders’ understanding of equity in health systems building and health care delivery. In the past, this internship program has convened these students in Rwanda to learn from the actual situation on the ground. However, due to Rwanda’s robust restrictions around COVID-19 to protect its populations, UGHE will run a virtual summer bootcamp for the second year, providing interns the opportunity to learn from the Rwandan health system and various leaders in the field. Now more than ever, faced with a global health crisis that is disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable in all communities, it is crucial that the global health leaders of tomorrow understand how health systems are built, repaired and/or reorganized to ensure no one is left out. 

Since the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda has achieved major health milestones, largely attributed to the centering of equity in all levels health systems planning and implementation. The improvements that were born through this can be seen today; life expectancy has risen by a third, vaccination coverage for children is one of the highest in the world at 98% for all recommended childhood vaccines and 93% for the HPV vaccine for girls, and maternal mortality has been reduced by 80% to name a few. Discussions on Rwanda’s and other exemplar countries’ health systems will teach us about equity, governance, as well as efficient utilization of limited resources. While improvements to health remain a continuous process and a long-standing commitment, it is evident that adaptability, collaboration, inclusiveness, equity and resilience serve as cornerstones for countries’ health systems to lay strong foundations for an effective response to any health crises we will inevitably face in the future. This is especially evident now with the current COVID-19 pandemic during which resilient healthcare systems have proven critical to the maintenance of the delivery of existing healthcare service. We will explore this in Rwanda and in other exemplar countries.  

Aligning with the Bootcamp’s goal to familiarize participants with what global health equity and delivery look like in practice, successful applicants will, for nine dynamic weeks, participate in online presentations and webinars led by global health professionals, and in research projects. We hope participants will leave with a strong understanding of equitable health intervention planning and delivery leveraging and learning from the Rwandan health system model.

“I was attracted to this program because of its emphasis on global health and learning from health systems from around the world […] It helped me to get a global view of health and I learnt valuable things about the health care system in Rwanda that I wasn’t aware of.” — Ornella Ingabire, Rwanda (Summer Bootcamp Intern 2020)

“By joining this bootcamp I was able to understand exactly how vulnerable populations are struggling to have an equitable system that delivers the needs of everyone. We were able to learn about the inequities that exist in the current system, but we were also able to understand how we can contribute to overcoming it.” — Hamaiyal Sana, Pakistan (Summer Bootcamp Intern 2020).

Read more stories from 2020 summer Bootcamp interns here

Participant Requirements 

Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited higher learning institution and have a strong interest in global health and social justice. We will be recruiting four Rwandan students and four non-Rwandan students to spend 9 weeks learning intensively about global health equity and delivery using the Rwandan and several other countries health care system as examples. 

The participants will be paired, with each pair made up of a Rwandan student and a non- Rwandan student for the duration of the bootcamp. Each pair will undertake a desk research project and be expected to submit and present their findings at the end of the bootcamp. 

A participation fee of 2000 USD will be required, however, there could be scholarships offered to Rwandan students.

All participants must have valid insurance and a working internet connection as this bootcamp will be fully virtual. 

Application process

Interested applicants can upload their CVs, letters of intent describing their interests and what they hope to gain from this bootcamp, and letter of recommendation from their institution here by May 1st, 2021 at noon CAT. Applicants will be invited for interviews and offers will be made following the interview process. The summer bootcamp will run from June 7th, 2021-August 6th, 2021

If you have any questions, please address them to 


Participants will meet with the Vice Chancellor’s office research team to discuss progress on their research projects every week. 

On a weekly basis, participants will also participate in webinars led by various health professionals on the principles of global health equity using examples from the Rwandan health system. For every topic, participants will receive pre-reading materials, meet as a group for a video presentation followed by a group discussion on what was presented and how it compares to other settings. 

Schedule and Weekly Topics:

Week 1: Introduction to UGHE, Initiation to Global Health Equity in Service Delivery, and the Rwandan Health System

Week 2: National Community Health Workers Program at Village Level

Week 3: Service Delivery at Community Health Facilities: Health centers and health posts

Week 4: Health Service Delivery at District, Provincial, and Referral Hospitals 

Week 5: Equitable Health Sector Management: Ministry of Health and Affiliated Organizations

Week 6: Non-Governmental Sector Contributions to Health Service Delivery

Week 7: Equitable Health Service Delivery in Refugee Camps

Week 8: Integration of Mental health in Health Science Delivery

Week 9: Final Presentations of Research Results and Wrap-up