Co-written with Summer Institute Manager Maddy Bishop-Van Horn.
This summer, EWH is expecting to host 111 participants in 7 countries. Thanks to new university partnerships with the University of Portland and Catholic University, we are able to send participants to the Dominican Republic for the first time. Thanks to our growing partnership with the Technical University of Denmark and the other Nordic Five Tech Schools, we will also be sending participants to Mongolia for the first time.
Team Dukerere in Uganda, SI 2017
As our programs have expanded, we have increased our ability to include participants from the countries in which we work, as well as participants from low-income countries in which we cannot yet host programs. Our participants come from all over the world: this summer, they carry passports from 18 different countries. Including more local biomedical engineering students and international instructors benefits our mission. Last year, we launched the first Summer Institute program in Uganda, in partnership with Duke Engage and Makerere University. Eight Duke students worked alongside five Makerere students, enriching the training process for both groups, as they were able to exchange knowledge and experience. Dr. Robert T Ssekitoleko, head of the biomedical engineering department at Makerere University, also became our first local instructor. We are proud to keep local voices at the forefront of our work in Uganda.
This model proved so successful that we launched a January Institute in Uganda in partnership with the University of New South Wales and Makerere. This time, 14 UNSW students worked alongside seven Makerere students. The larger group was able to reach more rural Ugandan hospitals with great need for medical device repair. Local students are able to provide visiting students with greater insight into Ugandan culture, as well as greater access and trust within hospitals. At the same time, the EWH programs provide Ugandan students with the opportunity to gain hands-on training and experience working in hospitals. All students have the opportunity to build international partnerships in their field. While the 14 UNSW students returned to Australia, the seven Makerere students remain in Uganda, sharing their experience with their peers and creating a more sustainable change for Ugandan healthcare.
Andrew & Ivan repairing blood pressure cuffs Sam & Peter working on a suction machine
This summer, EWH is expanding this model. In Rwanda, we have invited up to 10 biomedical equipment technician students from our former BMET Training partner, IPRC, to join the Summer Institute. In Uganda, we once again expect five Makerere students to work alongside our Duke Engage participants. In Nepal, three Nepali biomedical engineers will join our Nordic Five participants. Additionally, participants from Yemen, Bhutan, and Liberia will be joining our programs in Rwanda and Tanzania, bringing their perspectives of biomedical needs in low-resource hospitals to EWH’s classrooms, and taking home valuable experience working in hospitals in international teams.
It is our hope that bringing together engineers from around the globe fosters an exchange of information that leads to a stronger international biomedical community and, as a result, better biomedical solutions for healthcare challenges in low-resource hospitals.
Portable oxygen concentrators & lamps repaired at Kawolo!