At the request of the Zambian Ministry of Health, THET performed a needs assessment of biomedical engineering personnel and training in public hospitals.
At the request of the Zambian Ministry of Health, THET performed a needs assessment of biomedical engineering personnel and training in the spring of 2011.
The assessment covered a representative sample of health facilities in rural and urban areas, from district hospitals to tertiary level referral hospitals.
The assessment determined that there was a significant shortage of qualified biomedical engineering professionals at all skill levels (assistants, technicians, technologists and engineers) and that there was a great need for an in-country training programme for medical equipment technologists. It provided recommendations for staffing (for example, a minimum of one medical equipment technologist, supported by technicians, per district hospital) and for pre-service and in-service training in Zambia.
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Following the needs assessment, THET and the Ministry of Health led the development of a curriculum for a three-year diploma programme in biomedical engineering, the first in Zambia.
The curriculum development workshop brought together a wide range of stakeholders in Zambia. International biomedical engineering and education experts reviewed the curriculum and the Technical, Educational and Vocational Training Authority (TEVETA) approved the final curriculum package in late 2011.
THET continues to work with the MoH and other key stakeholders to prepare NORTEC College for the planned commencement of the programme in 2013, and also works closely with other organisations supporting the in-service training of medical equipment personnel in Zambia.