Dr. Edouard Ntagwabira (R) being congratulated by the University of Nairobi Chancellor Dr. Vijoo Rattansi when he was conferred with a PhD, looking on is UoN acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche.

Dr. Edouard Ntagwabira, PhD is one of the pioneers of the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Rwanda whose mandate encompasses the development and strengthening of laboratory professionals in Rwanda medical laboratories through short- and long-term training.

He is the current Director of Coordination of Laboratory Network Unit at Rwanda Biomedical Center/ Biomedical Services- NRL and honorary lecturer at the University of Rwanda.

He has over 16 years experience in medical microbiology diagnostics and research and published three papers in peer review journals as first author in addition to over five publications as co-author to date.

His PhD degree in Medical Microbiology was conducted at the College of Health Sciences at the University of Nairobi.

His thesis was on the improvement of the quality of diagnosis and accuracy in the detection of aetiologic agents of Central Nervous System (CNS) infections in Rwanda.

The study developed a novel algorithm through the combination of conventional and molecular techniques in the detection of the most common bacterial, viral and fungal etiological agents of CNS infections utilising both culture and Real-time Multiplex PCR methods.

The study determined the drug susceptibility pattern of the detected bacterial agents of CNS infections and demonstrated the utility of molecular diagnostic methods for early detection with appropriate drugs for precise treatment.

The findings from the study has facilitated the establishment of new molecular laboratory (Nucleic Acid Testing Laboratory) at NRL. This laboratory is capable of detecting CNS infections early   and accurately. This has led to a decrease in the number of samples sent abroad for diagnosis.

In the near future, the established molecular laboratory will be rolled out in the referral hospital laboratories, while the developed conventional algorithm will be established in referral, provincial and district hospitals laboratories.

Dr. Ntagwabira acknowledges the invaluable contribution of his supervisors Prof. Omu Anzala, Dr. Marianne Mureithi and Dr. Jean Baptiste Mazarati. They had tremendous confidence and encouraged him even when the demands of the research and those of his job seemed to overwhelm him. Being his supervisors from inception of the research work and being aware of the tasks involved, they offered him a lot of support and advice in all the undertakings. Their commitment and invaluable suggestions are highly appreciated. He is also grateful to the Government of Rwanda, Ministry of Health, World Bank, East Africa Public Health Laboratory Network Project (EAPHLNP) for awarding him the grant funding towards this research.