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GE Healthcare: In medicine, technicians as well as doctors are saving lives

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.

At the start of his working day at the Lagos  University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), biomedical engineer Segun Jephet’s first priority is to ensure that all the medical and diagnostic  technologies that he is responsible for are fully functional.

“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.

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.

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.

Together with seventeen of his  colleagues, Segun recently graduated from Nigeria’s first BMET programme in  December.

 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.”


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