Natasha Kampengele is a third-year student at the Ndola Technical College. She has worked as a biomedical trainee technician for the last ten years. Here she discusses her experiences of the THET biomedical Engineering Technologists course in Zambia.
In Zambia up to 50% of medical equipment is out of service. A critical lack of trained Technologists means hospitals can’t operate effectively, putting patient lives at risk. That’s why THET is training a new generation of Biomedical Engineering Technologists to fix, maintain and manage medical equipment.
'I’m happy that I’m able to be a part of service delivery in my country. Ndola Central Hospital has a bed capacity of between 900 and 1000, but there are only three engineers in the biomedical engineering department. We need about eleven.
I think being a woman in a predominantly male dominated area is not very easy. There are times when people do not have confidence in you to do the job, because they think, because you are a woman you cannot do it, so we have to prove them wrong.
This course opened up our minds to see that engineering is not just about fixing equipment. It is about managing and making sure that equipment is working effectively, it’s working correctly, it’s being used correctly, and those are things that we are going to do.
It’s really boosted my confidence. I’m not saying I know everything, but I am learning and I know where I was, is not where I am now. I’m at a different level now than I was three-years ago.'