The University of Puthisastra, our academic partner in Cambodia for our BMET Training program, recently shared a video featuring our program! Check it out:
As the video says, UP's BMET program is the first in Cambodia. Steve Goeby, our country coordinator, says, "All the students who have worked in BMET have come through the school here. We have a very strong network within the public and private and NGO hospitals as well, and as a result we have very strong connections around the whole country."
Our On the Ground Coordinator Ung Kunthear explains how the program is set up: "At hospitals we divide in two. First, we practice at the Center of Excellence workshop in Calmette Hospital. And the second point, [the students] have to practice directly at their hospitals. Moreover, the lecturers visit and mentor to help students to perform their work in the right way."
The BMET Training Program in Cambodia has now trained dozens of students, many of whom are also assigned to work in public hospitals. Their work is already making a difference in Cambodia's healthcare system as they keep everything from air conditioners to incubators to ultrasound machines up and running. EWH is currently training the trainers as we work to ensure the sustainability of this program, giving Cambodians the tools and knowledge they'll need to continue training BMETs on their own.
This account of the University of Portland's second repair trip to Haiti is written by Emily Bliven, University of Portland EWH Chapter Officer and President of the Biomedical Engineering Club. To read about UP's first trip last year, click here.
Less than a week after graduating from University of Portland, four classmates and I boarded a plane taking us to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, led by a technician from our engineering school. In Haiti we met our coordinator, Dan Schuster, whose Oregon-based nonprofit, BETA Intl (www.bmet-aid.com), shares biomedical training resources with Engineering World Health in Haiti and Tanzania. Our mission was to spend a week repairing medical devices at an understaffed and underfunded hospital, Bernard Mevs, supported by Project Medishare (www.projectmedishare.org). I was told to bring face masks, mosquito netting, and my own bed sheets. In other words, I had no idea what to expect; I’ve never been to a developing country before, let alone traveled somewhere to spend the whole time working. I knew we were staying at Bernard Mevs Hospital in central Port-Au-Prince, the only trauma center in the city. None of this meant anything to me until after the trip, when realized I would carry these memories with me for the rest of my life.
The biomedical engineering lab at IPRC will be fully operational this fall: a brand new 200 square meters lab will be available for training students and teachers. Our OTGC, Costica, has helped with the installation of the lab’s sophisticated medical gas system, and the teachers in training will use the installation of training equipment in their new lab as a great hands-on learning experience.
EWH’s STEM programs are reaching more kids than ever this summer. We have developed several new engineering design activities that are being used with summer camps all over North Carolina! With our "Protect the Pump" activity, students design and build a protection device for a medical suction pump that will prevent fluid from getting into the motor and destroying the pump. Students' designs can be utilized in our Summer Institute programs where college students are repairing medical equipment, like these suction pumps, in hospitals in Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Rwanda! Check out these middle school students at Wilson's engineering camp testing their devices!