The organisations awarded funding through the Health Partnership Scheme to improve the maintenance and management of medical equipment across five countries in sub-Saharan Africa were announced by Lord Nigel Crisp at the International Conference on Appropriate Healthcare Technologies for Developing Countries hosted by the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET).

THET Launches Medical Equipment Programme

Dental Department QECH, Blantyre, Malawi

Hospitals in low and middle-income countries frequently report the poor state of medical equipment as being a key challenge they face in delivering essential services. It is estimated that between 50 and 80% of medical equipment is out of service in these regions.

UK health workers and biomedical engineers will contribute to this neglected area by volunteering to implement training projects in South Sudan, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Ethiopia. The focus will be on working in collaboration with partners overseas to ensure that equipment maintenance staff receive the necessary training, have the necessary tools, equipment and reference materials in their workshops and are more effectively engaged in equipment decision-making in their hospitals.

The five medical equipment partnerships are working in Ghana, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia.  Their primary focus is to build equipment maintenance and management capacity, and the projects are led by biomedical engineers and medical physicists.

THET’s work on Medical Equipment also aims to lead to greater awareness of good practice for medical equipment donation, the resources available for those donating equipment and an understanding of the role of medical equipment personnel.  It is estimated that up to 80% of the medical equipment in some sub-Saharan African countries is donated equipment; the majority of which is out of use. A series of Good Practice Guidelines on Medical Equipment Donations are currently being produced. Read more about THET's work on Medical Equipment.