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The GE Foundation, in collaboration with the Developing World Healthcare Technology Laboratory at Duke University and Engineering World Health, is developing a new Biomedical Equipment Technician Training (BMET) project in Nigeria to address a major need for locally qualified medical technicians to repair and service biomedical equipment. The grant program, defined through collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in Nigeria, will be established at the Federal School of Biomedical Engineering Technology at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and builds on the success of BMET programs already implemented in Rwanda, Ghana, Cambodia and Honduras. The $1.5M grant will be administered over a three-year period.
Between 50- 80% of medical equipment is out of service in low-income countries according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Additionally, of hospitals surveyed, 85% in Africa, 77% in Latin America and 60% in Asia report difficulty finding qualified medical technicians to repair and service medical equipment. In Nigeria, 50% of hospital equipment is out of service which puts added strain on local healthcare delivery.
“The shortage of functional medical equipment is a barrier to the efficient delivery of care in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said David M. Barash, M.D., Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of the GE Foundation. “This capacity-building program delivers a structured curriculum and develops a pipeline of locally accredited technicians, in line with GE’s overall commitment to drive knowledge transfer, capabilities building and local job creation. We are pleased to collaborate with the Nigerian Ministry of Health on this scalable program to help address the health challenges in the region and deliver solutions that align with the needs of the country.”
The goal of the three-year grant is to establish a BMET school in Nigeria, while also working to create a Center of Excellence (COE) in coordination with the Federal School of Biomedical Engineering Technology and LUTH. The COE’s goal is to serve as a model for other training programs in the region.