Before year 2014, Zambians with a special privilege were been awarded scholarships for them to study any of the branches of Biomedical Engineering abroad, mostly in Russia. Mostly these people came back to the country (Zambia) and stayed without having jobs as the ministry of health had no available positions for biomedical engineers, in other words, biomedical engineers were not recognized in a medical set up of the country. When medical equipment had breakdowns, they would call experts from the western world to come and help in repairing the damaged equipment.
In 2013, the government realised that they had been spending large colossal sums of money in hiring experts from the Western world to repair the medical equipment. Government through other health partners from the international community, they thought introducing the program in the country so that many local Zambians could be trained locally.
In 2014, the government’s effort came to pass when NORTEC had a first enrolment in diploma in biomedical engineering technology, and a good number of students less than 80 were enrolled for the first intake in August 2014.
The same thought was further extended to open up the program in the capital of Zambia, and Evelyn Hone College of Applied arts and Science. The first intake was to be enrolled in January 2015, but due to the unforeseen circumstances that didn’t take place. But fortunately, the thought came a reality in Lusaka as Evelyn Hone College enrolled the first students to study diploma in biomedical engineering technology for June/July intake in 2015. Less than 60 students were enrolled.
Now both institutions have more than 150 students pursing biomedical engineering technology.
And finally, the ministry of health has finalised the structure of biomedical engineers and biomedical engineers are been employed.
Author: Nchimunya Simudumo
School: Evelyn Hone College
Location: Lusaka, Zambia