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Defence minister elaborates on new Medical Health Service in RDF

Defence minister Juvenal Marizamunda has said that the establishment of the new Medical Health Service unit in the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) is part of efforts to build the military’s medical services capacity to reach grassroots levels where all the men and women in uniform operate, as well as playing a key role in treating the citizens.


A new legislation passed by parliament on Thursday, May 2, introduced a number of changes in the law governing the RDF. The changes include the Medical Health Service, a new unit which will be led by a Chief of Staff.

Upon final approval, it means that the national army will comprise four Chiefs of Staff presiding over its four major sections: Land Forces, Air Force, Reserve Force and Special Units, as well as the new Medical Health Service unit.


Speaking in a media interview on Thursday, May 2, after the passing of the legislation by parliament, Marizamunda said: “We want to build this service (health) so that it will be strong, with a structure that goes down all the way to the lower levels where our army works, be it in time of peace or during operations.”

“We have many specialists and doctors and we continue to try to get more. They support not only soldiers but the citizens,” he added.


On Tuesday, April 30, President Paul Kagame who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) approved the establishment of the military health service, and also appointed officers who will manage it.

Maj Gen Ephraim Rurangwa who previously served as the Commandant of Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Medical Health Service. He will be deputised by Col Dr. John Nkurikiye, an ophthalmologist.

Brig Gen Jean Paul Bitega, an orthopedic surgeon, was appointed as the commander of medical operations command, while Dr. Eugene Ngoga, who was promoted to the rank of

Brig Gen was appointed as the commandant of Rwanda Military Referral and Teaching Hospital.

Also promoted to the rank of Brigadier General is Chrysostome Kagimbana, who was appointed as the commander of medical regional facilities.

In the same institution, Col. Eric Seruyange, was appointed as the director of epidemiology and public health, Lt Col Leon Ruvugabigwi, as the director of drugs and materials, while Lt Col. Vincent Sugira will serve as the director of medical training, research and innovation.