KIGALI - 16 biomedical equipment technicians from various hospitals across the country yesterday completed the first session of training in equipment maintenance, a measure that will significantly impact on improved health service delivery.
The training programme at the Kigali Health Institute (KHI), is new on the Rwandan scene and was introduced by the Ministry of Health in partnership with the US-based General Electronics Foundation and Engineering World Health.
According to the acting Director General of the Central Workshop of Maintenance in the ministry, Martin Manzi, initially maintenance technicians had to travel all the way to Ghana for such training.
“We are glad that it is now possible to have the technicians trained locally because maintenance of equipment at health facilities is a challenge in many countries,” Manzi explained.
“Now that skills can be acquired here, the overall mission to improve the operational availability of health system assets will be possible.”
One of the trainers, Billy Teninty, said that the trainees will serve as trainers after completing a three-year programme.
“This same class will come back for more sessions and graduate in 2012. Every March, a new class will be enrolled and we believe that this will improve health because when diagnostic tests are required, equipment will be in good state,” Teninty explained.
“If the diagnostic equipment is operating, health workers get to see more patients and recovery time will be shortened thus improved health care in the entire country.
This training facility will soon become a regional training centre so hospitals from other countries will also benefit.”
Major skills acquired include, healthcare technology management principles, equipment troubleshooting, biomedical technician assistant skills, communication using computers and professional development.
Of the 16 trainees, 15 were male and one female. Officials urged women to join this profession as well. Each trainee represented a district hospital.