Invitation letter from the NOC President

Dear colleagues, dear professionals and political decision makers of rehabilitation, dear non-government organizations, dear rehabilitations industry owners, dear partners,

We are so excited to inform you about the 9th FATO (African Federation of Orthopedic Technologists, or better Prosthetists and Orthotists) that is due to take place in Kigali the capital city of Rwanda, from 14th to 19th October 2018. It is a great privilege for Rwanda to receive this very important summit in the health domain in general and more particularly in the physical rehabilitation field. We gladly invite you and we will be honored to count you among us!

Rwanda, though it has been the devastated by one of the most terrible Genocide of the human history (Genocide against Tutsi) in 1994, it is raising from ashes. Normally Rwanda is a beautiful country with exotic hill view covered by an amazing green nature, and is characterized by a tropical temperate climate with a breathable pure and fresh air.

Though very small, Rwanda is a country with big perspectives, believing in dignity and excellence. Locked Land, with no access to the sea and known as the ‘Country of Thousand Hills’, Rwanda don’t want to succumb to this fate; we are and want to always be a ‘Country of Thousand Opportunities’.

Under the lead and guide of His Excellence Paul KAGAME, the President of the Republic, the man with a vision and a mission beyond the horizon, Rwanda is known again for its political will in facilitation of doing business, assuring anyone who wants to invest, security and equity, pillars of prosperity.

In the health sector, the country wants to be a leader and role model in African with multiple and high performances in the area, not for the sake of competing but for the welfare and development of its population. Therefore, some performances like the general medical insurance know as ‘Mutuelle de Santé’, the reduced infantile death rate recorded since the recent years to mention a few; are proof of the Government political will to assure a good and prosperous life to its people.

All these efforts are also concrete in the physical rehabilitation sector, as the Government has put much effort to develop that area after the war to liberate Rwandan people and stop the Genocide against Tutsis. Therefore since 1995, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Handicap International has constructed and equipped 5 Prosthetic and Orthotic as well as Physiotherapy Unities in different hospitals across the country. In 1997, the department of Physiotherapy was created in ‘Kigali Health Institute’ (KHI, today College of Medicine and Health Sciences, CMHS) to train Physiotherapist A1, and later, Physiotherapist A0.

Following the Kigali 2007 FATO Congress resolutions, a school/Department of Prosthetics and Orthotics has been created in the same KHI (CMHS). It started 4 years later and is operational for 6 years now. Today, the school has put on the labor market 34 Orthopedic Technologists CAT 2 (Associate Prosthetists-Orthotists).

Observation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the Government priorities as Rwanda has ratified different conventions among others The United Nation Convention for the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities. The country is making all efforts to put them in action despite limited resources. Therefore, infrastructures today, particularly new roads and high buildings are made with wheelchair ramp ways to facilitate the access to public and private services. High buildings should also have the lifters for the same purpose. In the education sector, integrated schools have been started as initial phase to test the success of their implementation.

The ‘Land of Thousand Hills’ which is ready to receive you from 14th to 19th October 2018, its population is reputed for an exceptional hospitality. Kigali, one of the cleanest cities in the world reserves you a warm welcome with hotels of all categories to meet your choice and your affordability, assuring the luxury, comfort and convenience. Rwanda has got a unique experience in organizing successfully great and important pan African as well as international summits, with reference to the recent Kigali African Union (AU) summit among others. We promise and guarantee you colorful, fruitful and very rich congress which will meet your expectations and offer you new perspectives and opportunities.

Take advantage of your stay, why not to stretch it, to pay a short visit to different touristic areas in the country, more especially the famous Volcanoes’ National Park, the nest of the rare Mountain Gorillas, and other many beautiful places in the country!

Once again,

WELCOME to the Land of Thousand Hills!

‘BONNE ARRIVEE’ as they use to say in Ouest Africa!

‘KARIBU’ in Swahili, the East African language!

‘MURAKAZA NEZA’ in our mother tongue KINYARWANDA!