During my first visit to Navrongo War Memorial Hospital in the Upper East Region of Ghana earlier this year, I was introduced to the hospital’s Clinical Engineer, Mr. Kwabena Debrah. Kwabena took me to his workshop (a corner of the procurement manager’s office) and showed me a transformer for the Spot Vital Signs charger that he had repaired using old cell phone parts. Needless to say I was blown away by his ingenuity and perseverance in such a limited setting. The potential to work with Kwabena to improve the sustainability of Ghana Medical Help’s equipment donation program was obvious. As I continued to travel through northern Ghana, I met the other newly posted clinical engineers and immediately started to think of how we could get them more involved with GMH.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of hosting a 4 day training conference for clinical engineers working in Ghana Medical Help’s partner hospitals. The conference covered technical and practical training on servicing key hospital equipment, and concluded with the development of a planned preventative maintenance schedule. For me, the most enjoyable part of the conference was the development of strong working relationships amongst the participants and instructors and the humility expressed by the trainees when receiving praise from the highest level clinical engineers in Ghana.
As Mr. John Zienaa put it “We’re lucky to have these guys.” He was referring to the eight clinical engineers working in the Upper East and Upper West hospitals. Mr. Zienaa explained that with their engineering degrees, these skilled professionals could have easily chosen to work in industry or in better equipped hospitals in the south, earning more money and having better access to infrastructure and support. The fact that they chose to work in rural hospitals in the north of Ghana is a true bode to their humanitarian spirit and desire to help those in need. GMH is thrilled to be working closely with the clinical engineers across our partner hospitals to help determine equipment and tool needs, report and resolve breakdowns, and analyze equipment durability. The clinical engineers are the key to improving GMH program sustainability!
A very big thank you to all of the clinical engineers who attended Ghana Medical Help’s Clinical Engineer Training Workshop!
Mr. Iddrisu Abukari – Upper West Region – Wa Regional Office
Mr. Solomon Kare Bangya – Bolgatanga Regional Hospital
Mr. Kwabena Debrah – Kassena-Nankana West District and Municipal
Mr. Appiah Anokye N.Y.A Clement – Builsa North and South Districts
Mr. Sebastian Acherekoh – Pusiga, Garu and Bawku Municipal
Mr. John Kow Tawiah Idan – Zebilla, Nabdam, and Binduri Districts
Mr. James Sandow Abdulau – Bongo and Tongo Districts
Mr. Martin Taabazing – Jirapa District
– Marko Andan, GMH Projects Director