Biomedical engineering can save lives. It draws on and integrates knowledge from disciplines like engineering, computer science, biomedical sciences, and public health as well as clinical practice. This knowledge is combined to improve health—often through the design of medical devices for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
Most of Africa’s medical equipment is imported. “Equipment graveyards” become the final resting place for medical devices that aren’t suited to local conditions. This can include dust, heat, humidity and an intermittent supply of electricity. Some machines are discarded because hospital and clinic staff haven’t been trained to operate them or because replacement parts are not available when they’ve broken.
African countries need to start producing and developing their own medical devices. A cadre of suitably skilled biomedical engineers is needed for this sort of innovation to take root. That’s what prompted a number of African universities to establish the African Biomedical Engineering Consortium. We advance education and research in biomedical engineering across the continent. Full Story