Engineering World Health began its BMET training program in late 2009 to provide a training course for biomedical equipment technicians in Rwanda. The program is a partnership with the GE Foundation with the goal of providing the Rwandan health system with sufficient BMETs to maintain and repair the medical equipment in the Rwandan hospital and to lift the system to a higher level, through implementing good Healthcare Technology Management.
Rwanda has been experiencing a remarkable recovery from a devastating civil war that took place in the 1994. However, the nation still suffers from a severe lack of trained personnel in the health care professions. Much of the medical equipment in Rwandan hospitals is now non-functional, due to a lack of spare parts and consumables, donations without value and a lack of trained technicians to maintain and repair it. As a result, the health system loses the opportunity to treat and diagnose patients, exacerbating the country’s difficulties with diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB, and with primary healthcare for non-communicable conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
This BMET Training Program includes three years of courses, twice a year for 8 weeks. The technicians work in the government hospitals and come to class to be trained. The Ministry of Health supports the program by allowing the technicians to attend class, to pay for their transport, accommodation and food.
In November 2012 the first class of BMETs graduated. In November 2013 the second class will graduate.
Since Early 2012 the BMET training has taken place at IPRC, the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center, located in Kigali, Rwanda. IPRC has proven to be an excellent choice as educational partner. In September 2012 IPRC started a 3-year, full time, advanced diploma program. The EWH role is in this program is purely supportive. We help IPRC to build labs, train trainers and optimize the curriculum, but IPRC has full ownership. IPRC is also extremely cooperative in realizing accreditation for the current students and recent graduates to receive a diploma with a value. EWH Rwanda is ready to start phase II of the program. With the extension of the sponsor and partnership of GE Foundation, EWH is collaborating closely with IPRC and the Ministry of Health to implement Centers of Excellence, Train the Trainer programs and mentoring of BMETs by senior BMETs from developed countries.
A great project, with a great team of employees and partners, ready to make a difference!