Justin Cooper, EWH BMET Manager in Honduras, wrote an article that was published in the October 2011 edition of Tech World, the monthly news magazine of the Assocation for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.
Engineering, science and especially their application and relevance to a resource-poor setting are often introduced as at the university level. Over the past months, EWH has been working hard to expose a younger audience to these disciplines by developing a curriculum suitable for K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching.
This new program begun as a result of overwhelmingly positive feedback about our ESU tester circuit kit at different science and engineering fairs we attended in 2011. “This hands-on activity is EXACTLY what high school and middle school students need!” seemed to be the most common response when we presented our EWH Kits program to school teachers. This got us thinking whether we should be playing a greater role in actively going out and getting pre-university students excited about pursuing a STEM career.
Engineering World Health recently concluded a two-week continuing education training session in Tegucigalpa on sterilizers, oxygen concentrators, and operating room lights. It was the sixth two-week continuing education session on biomedical equipment technology (BMET) that EWH has conducted in Honduras since the first session in November, 2010.
This training was conducted at Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional (INFOP), the educational counterpart of EWH, from January 30 to February 10, 2012. Krista Bauer, Director of GE Foundation’s Developing Health Globally program, visited Tegucigalpa from the 7th to 9th of February and assisted in developing the direction of a joint commitment between INFOP, the Honduran Ministry of Health, EWH, and GE Foundation to sustain the training program in Honduras as a locally run educational program at the INFOP campus.
Engineer Lanza (second from left) and engineer Cooper (far right) present a repaired 12-lead ECG monitor to the clinical staff at the geriatric ward at Hospital San Felipe in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
On May 18, Engineering World Health recently concluded a two-week continuing education session on patient monitors for advanced biomedical technicians (BMETs) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Participants in the program included BMETs from 12 public and charity hospitals in Honduras. These facilities serve the majority of Honduran citizens who cannot afford to pay the healthcare costs within the private system. Also participating in the program were three electronics instructors from Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional (INFOP). These instructors are very experienced in component-level repairs of electronic devices and have been teaching in the field for between 5 and 20 years each. They are preparing to become the future instructors at the new biomedical department at INFOP, which will provide intensive training in BMET for years to come in Honduras.
The technical training during the course was delivered by Rafeal Lanza, an experienced Honduran biomedical engineer on special assignment with the Honduran Secretary of Health, and by Justin Cooper, Manager of BMET Training in Honduras. During two days of hands-on training with the class in Hospital San Felipe in Tegucigalpa, engineer Lanza assisted the students in hands-on troubleshooting and repair of several patient monitors and cardiac devices, including ECG, defibrillators, pulse
The Clinton Global Initiative University (or CGI U) is an annual summit where its founder, President Clinton, hopes to inspire the youngest generation of Americans to lead a life of service. Our own Christine Schindler of the Duke Chapter of EWH was in attendance this year and made an interesting Commitment to Action. Her goal is to "pair Duke engineering students with girls age 14 – 17 to complete Engineering World Health Kits to inspire these girls about opportunities in engineering while also making a difference in the world."
Her commitment was first recognized when it was mentioned by President Clinton in this video (scroll forward to 6:20). We certainly agree that it is one of those ideas capable of both dramatic expansion and adoption! This is why throughout 2012-2013 we'll be working in partnership with Christine Schindler and all 40 Engineering World Health chapters to implement this idea on a large scale.