Claire Karekezi; Breaking Historical Record

By Duchess Magazine

First female neurosurgeon in Rwanda, Dr. Claire Karekezi. She is a consultant in neurosurgery at the Rwanda Military Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. She earned her doctorate in medicine from the University of Rwanda’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

She graduated in 2016 from the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies Training Center for Africa at Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco, where she received her neurosurgical training.

As an International Visiting Surgeon Fellow, she also enrolled in various neurosurgical fellowships at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliation of Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA), with a focus on Neuro-Oncology and Skull Base Surgery.

Then, in August 2018, Dr. Claire Karekezi returned to Rwanda to become the first female neurosurgeon in that nation after completing a clinical fellowship in neuro-oncology and skull base surgery at the University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital (Canada).

Since August 2019, she has held the position of Chairperson of the Women in Neurosurgery Africa (WIN-Africa) section of the Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies (CAANS), and she belongs to numerous national and international neurosurgical organizations.

She has received numerous awards which include: American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Women In Neurosurgery (WINS), Greg Wilkins-Barrick Chair Visiting International Surgeon Award (2013), American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) International Visiting Surgeon Fellowship Award in Neurosurgery/neuro oncology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA (2016),

Shield Maiden Women in Surgery Africa (WISA) Award in recognition of the arête in achieving career excellence in surgery, COSECSA, Kigali (2018), AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative TTP Women in science ‘First Award 2019’ for being Rwanda’s First Female Neurosurgeon (2019) and Forbes Woman Africa Academic Excellence Award (2022).

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