Working in Rwanda: an OTGC’s Experience

Written by Kristen Duckworth

It is nearly impossible to believe it has been a month since I left Rwanda. It feels like just yesterday I was eating brochettes at Stone House and bargaining for fabrics at the Kimironko Market. Now it’s back to Mexican food (yay!), the Texas heat, and this semester’s stack of textbooks. Part of me wishes I could forgo this fall’s classrooms and return to my work in Rwanda.

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Building Biomedical Engineering Capability in Rwanda

Written by Ram Ramabhadran, PhD

I was offered an opportunity to teach biomedical engineering June 9-20, 2014 in Kigali, Rwanda by Engineering World Health (EWH), a Durham, NC-based non-profit organization. I taught in Honduras last year under the aegis of EWH, making this my second trip on behalf of EWH. This trip differed in many ways from the Honduras trip in terms of the mission, the trainees, the language, and the country. Unlike the mission in Honduras where I trained working biomedical technicians and their instructors as a part of their continuing education, the Rwanda mission was primarily to “train the trainers”, about 12 members of the electrical engineering faculty at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC), Kicukiro Campus in Kigali. The goal was to introduce these well-versed electrical engineers to biomedical engineering so as to enable them to teach post-high school students enrolled at IPRC, as a means of building long-term biomedical engineering capability of Rwanda.Ram teaches BMETs

EWH Searches for International Certification for Honduras

Written by Erin Coonahan

With EWH’s BMET Training program in Honduras coming to a close in September, the focus now is on a successful transition of all leadership and responsibility to the Instituto Nacional de Formacion Profesional (INFOP). With EWH´s support, INFOP has created a two and a half year education program for training Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMETs). EWH and the GE Foundation have worked in providing equipment and training for the instructors of the program and administrative support to create the first full-time degree program in biomedical equipment repair in Honduras. Students enter the program from a technically-focused high school and graduate with a certification from the institution. INFOP’s first group of students is in their second year, and a second class started in June.

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INFOP's 2014 BMET Students

Studies Find BMET Programs Dramatically Increase Use of Life-Saving Medical Equipment in Africa, Central America, & Asia



  • From 40-72% of hospital equipment in developing world is non-functional according to studies by the World Health Organization and others
  • The EWH Biomedical Engineering Technician (BMET) program funded by GE Foundation trains technicians in-country to maintain and repair all medical equipment, giving access to life-saving treatment, and creating a sustainable workforce of technicians
  • Program has led to technician productivity increases of 114%
  • Equipment downtime declined by 30%-40%
  • New Nigeria BMET program joins programs in Rwanda, Honduras, Ghana and Cambodia
  • EWH with support from GE Foundation has trained every technician in Rwanda

WASHINGTON, DC—AUGUST 5, 2014—As it prepares to launch a new program in Nigeria, Engineering World Health today announced the results of two peer-reviewed evaluations demonstrating the profound impact their Biomedical Engineering Technician (BMET) program has had on the repair of critical medical equipment and technician productivity in the developing world.

EWH Announces North Carolina K-12 STEM Program to Inspire Young People


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Engineering World Health Announces North Carolina K-12 STEM Program to Inspire More Young People to Pursue Careers in Science

  • Program offered at N.C. State Summer Camp, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boys & Girls Scouts of America
  • 1,000 children in K-12 participated to date
  • Currently offered in North Carolina with Biogen Idec Foundation
  • Engineering World Health planning national growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND DURHAM, N.C.—July 29, 2014—Engineering World Health (EWH;, an organization committed to inspiring, educating, and empowering the biomedical engineering community to improve global healthcare delivery in the developing world, today announced the launch of its STEM program. The program’s mission is to draw K-12 students to the study of science, technology, engineering and math, inspiring future generations of biomedical engineers to take on the challenges of healthcare technology in the developing world.

“We think it’s vital to work with young people to spark their interest in the STEM fields,” said Leslie Calman, Ph.D., CEO of Engineering World Health. She added, “Healthcare needs, both in the U.S. and the developing world, are great and so too is the need for young people, particularly girls and children of diverse cultures, to commit to a career in the STEM fields to meet those challenges.”

RT @BreakingRwanda: #Rwanda - A cause for contemplation | @devex