Engineering World Health (EWH) began its biomedical equipment technician (BMET) training program in late 2009 to provide training for 45 technicians in Rwanda. The program was funded by the GE Foundation with the goal of providing enough trained technicians to service every hospital in Rwanda within three years. Thanks to further funding from the GE Foundation, EWH is now expanding its training program to Cambodia, Honduras and Ghana.
The EWH BMET training programs feature needs-based curricula tailored to each country in partnership with Duke University. In Rwanda and Cambodia an introductory BMET training course is offered. The students learn about healthcare technology management, computer skills, principles of medical device operation, and professional development. They build their equipment repair abilities through a broad base of specific skills that apply to the maintenance and repair of numerous types of biomedical equipment. In these countries, technicians attend a two-month intensive course twice per year. With this method, the student technicians reinforce their classroom learning with alternating time periods of hands-on practice at their hospital, and the hospitals begin reaping the benefits immediately after the first session of classes finish. After three years and six training sessions, the students receive a certification in BMET.
The EWH BMET training program is managed by EWH Director of Biomedical Training, Billy Teninty. Teninty has 28 years of experience training technicians in developing countries in the maintenance and repair of medical equipment. Teninty’s training programs have achieved a remarkable retention rate: over 80% of the technicians he has trained have remained in their home country to continue working in their hospitals.