Complex Gastrointestinal Tract Surgeries Medical Value Travelers from Rwanda to India
According to the latest data from the World Journal of Gastroenterology, Gastrointestinal (GI) and Liver diseases impose a substantial burden, and are accountable for approximately 8 million deaths per year worldwide. Gastroenterology is the study of the normal function and diseases of the Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine, Colon and Rectum, Pancreas, Gallbladder, Bile ducts and Liver. It involves a detailed understanding of the physiology and conditions of the Gastrointestinal organs including the movement of material through the stomach and intestine (motility), the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body, removal of waste from the system, and the function of the liver as a digestive organ.
Gastroenterologists can diagnose and treat many digestive disorders, including acid reflux, heartburn, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn's disease. They specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of the following symptoms and conditions:
- Gall stones
- Hiatal Hernias
- Peptic Ulcer disease
- Biliary Tract disease
Laparoscopic surgeries can be sometimes performed; but sometimes surgeon may need to resort to more invasive and complex surgeries. A Gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique experience in the management of diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Liver.
Complex Gastro-intestinal Tract surgeries: Advantage India
India’s healthcare professionals have the breadth of knowledge that they have seen and treated every possible disorder affecting the GI tract; and the experts possess the depth of knowledge to define the most appropriate course of action needed for the conditions affecting the GI Tract, according to the Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy of India (SEGI). Not only this, the hospitals have world class infrastructure to complement the knowledge of these surgeons.
In India, a Gastroenterologist must first complete a three-year Internal Medicine residency and is then eligible for additional specialized training (fellowship) in Gastroenterology. This fellowship training is generally 2-3 years long and an intense, rigorous program where future Gastroenterologists learn directly from nationally recognized experts in the field and develop a detailed understanding of Gastrointestinal diseases.
Owing to such stringent level of training, the Indian Gastroenterologists can skillfully treat any medical condition related to the GI Tract, with a success rate as high as 99 percent. There is an array of treatments available for disorders of the GI tract or digestive system. Patients from all over the world come to India for complex GI tract surgeries because the cost is much more reasonable but the quality of the healthcare is excellent. According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), there is skilful usage of cutting-edge equipment for surgeries to treat GI tract disorders ranging from Cysts, Cancer, Hernia, Gall stones and much more. The use of latest technologies in India is at par with the international standards and therefore a lot of medical tourists visit India for complex GI tract surgeries.
Owing to the revolutionary progress of the information technology, it’s so easy to get connected to any place around the globe. Seeking healthcare overseas is, therefore, an additional and possible option available to such patients. Medical value travel industry has been working with the governmental bodies to make travelling to India for surgical procedures as easy as possible for the international patients.
Lack of adequate Healthcare expertise in Rwanda
Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world having some of the worst healthcare statistics, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). Even though basic healthcare amenities are guaranteed in the constitution of Rwanda, the ground reality is actually opposite. Although there is significant amount of GI diseases affecting the Rwandans, physicians lack both the equipment and training to provide specialized care. Further figures by WHO reveal that the country has only 725 healthcare professionals making the ratio one doctor to 16,000 patients. This does not meet the WHO recommendation of at least a doctor to 10,000 patients. Lack of training, cost, and availability of resources and low maintenance of equipment are some unique challenges that Rwanda is facing acutely. The best medical staff has emigrated. The remainder medical staff does not have adequate medical facilities to even provide the basic healthcare needs for the ailing population in the country. The situation is far worse for complex GI tract surgeries.
Thus, these handful surgeons are able to command premium rates for conducting GI tract surgeries. Poverty being a major drawback, it is unaffordable for most apart from the well off Rwandans who receive the care they need. But curbing the remuneration of these experts would mean they would emigrate. Therefore, for their surgical needs, Rwandans have to look for places such as India where such surgeries are readily available and at affordable prices.
Inflow of Gastrointestinal surgery patients from Rwanda to India
Developing countries like Rwanda are immensely burdened with GI Tract disorders due to the poor living conditions. A study done by the World Gastroenterology Organization (WGO) that Rwanda is swarmed with such disorders but Rwandans don’t have access to the treatment and facilities. Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs), Gastritis and Upper gastrointestinal malignancies are the most prevalent types of GI diseases in Rwanda. Giardia Duodenalis, a protozoan parasite causing Gastroenteritis, is detected very often in Rwandan children. Thus, Rwanda is among the sub-Saharan countries with extremely high rate of parasite infections. Further, Rwanda Medical Association (RMA) reports show that Bacterial and Protozoal Diarrhea, and Hepatitis A too are very rampant in Rwanda. However, only 46 percent of Rwandans live within a 5 km radius of any health center and hence timely treatment is not possible mostly, which causes the situation to worsen.
That’s why patients from Rwanda have been traveling abroad for medical treatments for years. Many travel to neighboring African countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, etc.; some travel to countries as far away as India, Singapore, Dubai, etc. India has treated several thousand medical value travelers from Rwanda since 2010. The lower cost of healthcare in India compared to US and South Africa is the main aspect that attracts medical tourists from Rwanda to travel to India. A surgery could cost as lower as 30 percent in India as it would in South Africa. The findings by International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) show that the average range of savings in India is 65-90 percent.
The growth potential of medical value travel business from Rwanda to India for GI tract surgical procedures can be estimated. Complex GI tract surgical procedures remain one of the top procedures for which international patients travel to India. One can estimate about 10 percent patients visit India for such surgical procedures. If 2,000 Rwandans visit India every year, about 200 would be visiting for complex GI tract surgeries alone. Estimates are that about 17,000 Rwandans travel to South Africa for their medical treatments every year. Cost would surely be the key point of attraction for Rwandans, but excellence in the offered healthcare services, leading hospitals in India and the proficiency of the surgeons are the other drivers. With numbers this big, one would wonder why the medical value travel companies and hospitals in India are not salivating like the proverbial Pavlovian dog! The projected growth potential would be eye-popping for marketing departments at medical value travel companies and hospitals in India. Data by the International Journal of Health Management and Tourism (IJHMT), the number of medical tourists coming to the country for medical purposes was 200,000 in 2016.
The ‘centers of excellence’ and the medical staff in India have the right expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to conduct even the most complex GI tract surgeries. India has the right attributes: expert doctors, advanced equipment and most importantly low cost to ensure more Rwandans travel to India for complex GI tract surgeries and other medical procedures to get treatment and relief.
About Indian Hospitals
India offers some of the best medical treatments in the world. The private hospitals in India have excellent reputation and our healthcare sector has sustained enormous boom in recent years. Despite the prejudices about healthcare in developing countries, rest assured that the laparoscopy hospitals in India are at the forefront of medical technology and are well equipped with the modern state of the art technology and highly qualified and experienced laparoscopic surgeons. Indian doctors are considered the best in the world with the high level of surgical expertise that evolves from many years of training.
Hygiene in private hospitals in India is excellent and the Rwanda patients seeking cardiac surgery are screened for HIV and Hbs Ag antibodies to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases and incidence of MRSA is minimal. The operation theatres have laminar air flow installed and gaining the ISO9001 standardisation, a voluntary standardisation run b a nongovernmental body where the hospitals must pass rigorous tests to be certified is increasingly becoming popular in the hospitals and the clinics.
Medical Visa Information for Patients from Rwanda to IndiaIndian Embassy in Rwanda
The Embassy of India has not been established in Rwanda yet. Rwanda nationals are eligible for Indian e-Visa that can be applied online for saving time.
Apply for e-Medical visa online at least four days before the date of travel with a window of 120 days. By that way, you will get the Indian e-Visa approval letter before leaving Rwanda for India, so that you can pick up Indian e-Visa at the arriving airport. Once in India he/she can stay for a maximum of 60 days.
Applicants can visit www.indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa for more information and to apply online.
Eligibility for Rwandans applying e-Visa to travel to India
- Rwandan Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is short duration medical treatment, recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, or casual business visit.
- Passport should have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India. The passport should have at least two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer.
- Rwandan Travellers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
Visa invitation letter
When you are applying for a medical visa, a visa invitation letter is required. A visa invitation letter is a formal document that is sent to the patient from the Indian hospital that sanctions his/her medical treatment in that hospital in India.
This also serves the purpose of a proof that the patient has indeed contacted with Indian hospital and will be having his or her treatment there. The visa invitation letter consists of the patient details, details of his/her ailment, treatment procedure and duration of the treatment involved. Hence it is an important and mandatory document required during the application and for the sanction of a medical visa to the patient.
Embassy InformationCommercial Section/Commercial Representative
Mr. Inderpreet Singh,
A Attache (Admin), High Commission of India, Kampala.
Travelers visiting India must possess a valid "Yellow Fever Vaccination" card if they are transiting or have transited through a Yellow Fever Zone.
- Flight & Travel from Rwanda to India
- Kigali, RW (KGL) to New Delhi, IN (DEL)
- Kamembe, RW (KME) to Chennai, IN (MAA)
- Kigali, RW (KGL) to Mumbai, India (BOM)
- Kamembe, RW (KME) to Bangalore, IN (BLR)