The GE Foundation recently refurbished and equipped the Biomedical Training Centre at LUTH, so that biomedical engineers like Segun can receive training to perform maintenance and troubleshoot essential equipment.
“Each day we assess the condition of the equipment and determine whether there are any issues. We do this to troubleshoot these as efficiently as possible,” explains Segun.
Biomedical engineers play a critical role in healthcare facilities worldwide. Between 50 and 80% of medical equipment is frequently out of service in low-income countries according to the World Health Organisation. Equipment downtime can substantially impact on the delivery of healthcare services, because in many cases there are no back-up options available. In Nigeria, 50% of hospital equipment is offline or unavailable.
This helps to create a sustainable pipeline of qualified medical engineers in Nigeria.
The BMET Project first launched in 2009 in Rwanda with 38 technicians graduating in 2012 and another 67 currently enrolled in the programme. Since then, projects were set up in Honduras (2010), Ghana (2012) and Cambodia (2013) training nearly 200 technicians and establishing several centres of excellence.
The course focused on healthcare technology management, principles of medical device operation, computer skills and professional development and was delivered through eighteen four-week modules over a period of three years.
Reflecting on what he learnt from the programme, Segun said there are two key qualities a biomedical engineer should have: professionalism and discipline. “The programme taught me to take a systematic, disciplined approach to maintenance. At all times you need to know what you are doing because indirectly our work helps to save lives.”