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Mercy Ships Ensures That Liberian Technicians "know how to fix it"
Date:11/14/2008

Mentoring Biomedical Technicians Program in Liberia completes successful first year

Monrovia, Liberia (Vocus) November 14, 2008 -- One of the biggest challenges to providing increased access to health care for Liberia's citizens is the availability of functional medical equipment. Although Liberia is in the process of rebuilding, much of the country's infrastructure is still in ruins, including many health care facilities. Medical and support personnel are severely lacking. Many who lived in the country before the war were displaced, and most have not returned.

In addition, donor organizations have supplied new or used medical equipment, but often no one is trained to repair or install it. Add the difficulty in getting spare parts, separation of service manuals from equipment and instability of a power supply that causes frequent equipment failure, and you have an African hospital's biggest headache.

In an effort to address this issue, and at the request of the Liberian Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, six Liberian hospital technicians have recently completed the first Mercy Ships Mentoring Biomedical Technicians program. The technicians were chosen by five of the nation's hospitals and equipped with additional skills to install, maintain, and repair various complex medical equipment. The training will ensure that donations of essential equipment will be well used when the ship departs in December.

Developed and led by Carlos Amaral of Brazil, who recently completed his PhD in biomedical engineering from the Technical University, Munich, Germany, the program ran from March through October. It included courses in computer training, electricity, electronics and medical equipment. Funding was provided by German foundation PRANA-Stiftung and mat
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