What took place at the University of Gondar’s Referral Hospital, on 18 September, brought a sense of optimism to the Biomedical Engineering Department. Top officials and representatives from the Korean Foundation For international Healthcare (KOFIH) came to Ethiopia as collaborators in an effort to strengthen the medical field. The day commemorated the celebration of University of Gondar’s Comprehensive Specialization Hospital’s (GUCSH) acceptance of equipment analyzers and the renovation of the Biomedical Engineering Department. Those in attendance were, amongst others, Dr. Annisa Befekadu, GUCSH CEO, Mr. Park ByungLyul, KOFIH General Director and Mr. Wondafrash Federal Ministry of Health Representative.
KOFIH, which is an abbreviation for Korean Foundation for International Healthcare, is a South Korean foundation that specializes in the medical field. They primarily assist in capacity building, biomedical workshop renovation, support tools & analyzers for maintenance and hospital counseling.
Mr. Park ByungLyul, General Director, has life altering aims for this Horn of Africa nation. In the hopes of establishing a center of excellence in every state’s higher institution’s biomedical engineering department, the South Korean organization wishes to play a sizable impact in the biomedical arena. Some of the facilities that were assisted include Saint Paul hospital (Addis Ababa), Jimma University hospital, Hawassa University, Mekelle Ider hospital, Black Lion hospital and now the University of Gondar.
Annisa Befekadu, CEO of GUCSH, another milestone was made by the University of Gondar in pursuit to bring healthcare quality through comprehensive workshops. Although the day was controlled by a sense of improvement some things were said that underlined the main issues that faced UoG’s hospital.
The CEO of GUCSH reflected on past roadblocks when he said, “we have been trying to maintain our medical equipment at the hospital but we are not able to achieve what it deserves for so many reasons.” One of the pivotal reasons for such a partnership rested with the fact that maintenance and renovation was a weak point at UoG.
Dr. Annisa stressed that the hospital was obliged to discard all medical equipment with minor errors and faults because there was to specialized personnel to fix these gadgets. Thus millions of birr was spent each year to replace such equipment. Therefore this workshop hit two birds with one stone. Allowing Ethiopian citizens a chance to go abroad to be trained in the art of maintenance, the burden of bringing foreigners to fix these issues will be decreased. In addition, since equipment with minor errors are being fixed by our very own staff, who are trained abroad, the University of Gondar will not spend millions on new equipment.
Therefore, the collaboration with KOFIH has come to be looked at as a vital one. The University of Gondar’s vision to become one of the most renowned research care providing hospitals in East Africa will be given a much needed motivational boost because of friendships like this. By purchasing analyzers, furniture and training our very own engineers to help us sustain our own apparatuses KOFIH will help us transform the Bio Medical Engineering department at UoG for the better.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate