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Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Welcoming the Rwanda Health Public Bulletin!

Bioline International is honoured and pleased to welcome the Rwanda Health Public Bulletin (RHPB) on our open access platform. I had the pleasure of interviewing the editor-in-chief, Leon Mutesa, who told me about the exciting journey of the new bulletin.

In late 2018, the RHPB initiative began with the the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) to create a platform where knowledge on health issues could be disseminated in a timely and consistent manner. Published articles include disease surveillance summaries, evaluation of public health interventions, public health notices or outbreak reports, case studies, opinion articles, commentaries, original research papers, review papers, research brief and policy briefs or notes. These help bridge the gap between health professionals, policy-makers, researchers and the public. Professor Mutesa states: “Not having such space was creating a gap in the policy making decision process for the government”. Indeed, key policy challenges arise from the interaction of multiple interdependent and multidimensional factors that are not readily addressed by traditional policy and decision making, therefore research, public partnerships and engagement on public health issues can help generate insight and identify and close the gaps and inconsistencies in health laws and policies.

The first issue of the bulletin was published in March 2019 after months of hiring the editorial team, committed peer-reviewers and writers, and coordinating the various editorial processes it takes for article publication (such as submission, review, editing, acceptance of papers to be published). Such fantastic initiative takes time to build form the ground up and challenges are nothing short of predominant. Despite facing challenges such as scarcity of public health content or finding writers willing to submit their content to a new platform, after each publication the Rwanda Health Public Bulletin has seen a constant rise in readership and positive feedback from the general public on social media. I encourage readers to dive into, support, and share the articles published by the RHPB in their firstsecond and third issues as they help shape our global understanding of population health.

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