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16 January, at 10 : 47 AM Print
The Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho, has set up an unusual mechanism whereby she spends much of Mondays receiving comments and answering questions from the public in a live session on Twitter.
The session is called “Mondays with the Minister” and takes place every Monday morning. She launched the scheme in December last year, but it has of recent become very popular.
SMS is used in addition to Twitter. Dr. Binagwaho has partnered with a local company, Nyaruka, to integrate SMS into the bi-weekly discussions. Nyaruka designed the web platform where the Minister can receive, respond to, and publicly display SMS messages.
During the session, people participate by asking questions from across Rwanda and other countries. Students and researchers interested in global health from Europe and North America often take part.
The tops of discussion are announced before hand on the Minister’s Twitter page.
To participate, you can follow the discussion through her Twitter account @agnesbinagwaho and by searching for #MinisterMondays. You can also send a question or comment in Kinyarwanda, English, or French by SMS to 0788 38 66 55. SMS questions and her answers can be viewed online at listen.nyaruka.com.