By Foday Moriba Conteh
In a bid to equip Biomedical Technicians on basic medical equipment maintenance in the country, Healey International Relief Foundation in partnership with Trimedx Foundation has on Thursday 23rd March, 2023 concluded a training exercise on Basic Medical Equipment Maintenance for 26 Biomedical Technicians across the country.
In his opening statement, the In-country Manager of Healey International Relief Foundation, Ishmeal Alfred Charles, pointed out that the Healey International Relief Foundation is eager to strengthen the healthcare system in Sierra Leone, adding that after many assessments they learnt that the country is spending so much money on equipment and once they have minor breakdowns they throw them away and trying to replace them saying such could be expensive.
He stated that, therefore, as a way to promote a preventive maintenance culture and repairs, Healey IRF partnered with Trimedx Foundation, a trusted provider of medical repair services in order to equip Biomedical Technicians in their various health facilities across the country on basic medical equipment maintenance.
The In-country Manager informed the gathering that this is not the first time Trimedx is coming to Sierra Leone to help fix machines and they are delighted that they are making such happen.
He maintained that prior to the commencement of the workshop the technicians visited and repaired machines at Kamakwie Wesleyan Hospital, Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni, Kindoya Hospital in Bo and Mercy Hospital in Bo.
In all those hospitals several equipments such as urine analyzers, audiogram, oxygen concentrators, monitors, baby warmer and many more were maintenance.
A Board Member of Healey International, Moses Baryoh, said that there is no school in Sierra Leone that teaches biomedical engineering, of which he added that it in that regard that the Healey International Relief Foundation, in partnership with Trimedx Foundation deemed it fit to organize such a training programme for technicians in the country.
He said the training will strengthen the healthcare system in the country through technology adding that the training will also lend a support to healthcare facilities by providing the basic knowledge on Basic Medical Equipment Maintenance to technicians in various health facilities in the country.
Moses Baryoh maintained that at the end of the training these technicians’ understanding of the subject matter will be deepened in order for them to build confidence to do their work.
On his part, one of the Trainers, who happens to be a Biomedical Mission Specialist from the Trimedx Foundation, USA, Alan Cox, expressed joy to be in Sierra Leone for the second time to undertake biomedical repairs campaign in Sierra Leone. The trainings, according to him, has helped to impart knowledge to the technicians that have benefited from the training.
He said that it has been identified that over 70 percent of medical equipment in developing countries are nonfunctional due to lack of expertise on maintenance, adding that the move by both institutions is to close the gap in order to make sure that the equipment is available.
Alan Cox said that majority of the Biomedical technicians are not properly trained and they have been simply moved on from other roles in the facilities to become Biomedical maintenance technicians, stating that by offering such a training that provides the basic troubleshooting and steps to follow when servicing a medical equipment, has helped in equipping them with the requite knowledge they need.
Kevin Collazo, Biomedical Mission Specialist stated that this opportunity will not only help in training but will strengthened ties and set up a support system for the facilities.
One of the participants, Alimamy Bangura, a Biomedical Technician commended the move by Healey International Relief Foundation and Trimedx Foundation for organizing the training which he described as very important to them as technicians.
He said the training has equipped them with the requite knowledge on Basic Medical Equipment Maintenance adding that as participants they will ensure that they cascade the knowledge they have gained to other technicians who were not part of the training.
The training ,which was done in a participatory format, where the technicians drawn from the varied facilities shared their knowledge and experience through plenary and group discussions was climaxed by a certificate ceremony during which all the participants were certified.