Pangea Global Health Education are exploring the potential to expand education programs to biomedical engineers from Malawi, in partnership with MedAid Academy, a UK based social enterprise.
MedAid Academy recently piloted a certified online training course for biomedical engineers in Malawi and early results from the course are promising, with an average course satisfaction rating of 9.5/10 from the first cohort. The online course helps biomedical engineers in low- and middle – income countries undertake key repairs to medical equipment, reducing machine down time, and enhancing patient care whilst saving both lives and money.
However, providing face to face programs has been a challenge due to costs of travel and running residential programs. A collaboration with Pangea to provide volunteer run in-person, small group education programs that supplement the online coursework would provide a great benefit to the local engineers. Face to face sessions run by MedAid International and Pangea volunteers would enable local biomedical engineers who have completed online components to focus on difficult or important aspects that are hard to deliver via online courses.
Aspects of the face-to-face biomedical engineering course could cover key areas including electrical safety testing and maintenance of equipment in the anaesthetic and operating room setting. Upskilling local engineers in these areas could have a huge benefit in a setting where broken equipment that could potentially be repaired is regularly abandoned, “I’m really excited about this collaboration” says Tim Beacon, MedAid International CEO.
Representatives from both Pangea and MedAid are in the process of defining the course requirements in collaboration with Malawian biomedical engineers from Kamuzu Central Hospital. Planning for a pilot program to be delivered in late 2022 will follow, with the aim to deliver the first engineering course in conjunction with the broader Pangea Global Health Education program.
Although still in the early stages of defining the program, any expressions of interest for Australian based biomedical engineer volunteers excited about participating in a 2022 program in Malawi should be sent to email@example.com.
Picture Credit: Med Aid International, https://medaid.co.uk , https://medaidacademy.co.uk