Nurturing next-generation biomedical engineers in Africa: The impact of Innovators’ Summer Schools

  • Daniel Atwine Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda; and Department of Clinical Research, SOAR Research Foundation, Mbarara, Uganda
  • Yvonne Wanjiku Karanja Division of Biomedical Engineering, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Arti Ahluwalia Research Center E. Piaggio and Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Carmelo De Maria Research Center E. Piaggio and Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
  • Dawit Assefa Centre of Biomedical Engineering, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Victor Konde United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Edwin Khundi Department of Engineering, Malawi University of Science and Technology, Malawi
  • Philippa Ngaju Makobore Instrumentation Division, Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Kampala, Uganda
  • Mainen Moshi Department of Biological and Pre-Clinical Studies, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Martin Nzomo Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Muhammad Ali Rushdi Department of Biomedical Engineering and Systems, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt
  • Robert Tamale Ssekitoleko Biomedical Engineering Unit, Department of Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • June Madete Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronic Engineering, Kenyatta University

Abstract

The mission of healthcare systems in Africa to deliver compassionate and effective care has been constrained by growing populations, increasing burden of disease, political conflict and limited resources. The impacts of these constraints can be substantially alleviated, and the healthcare services strengthened, through the creation and adoption of affordable, accessible and appropriate biomedical engineering systems and technologies. There is an urgent need for building capacities in biomedical engineering, innovation and entrepreneurship in African countries. The African Biomedical Engineering Consortium has been organising a series of Innovators’ Summer Schools to meet this need by empowering students and researchers with entrepreneurial and innovative skills, and facilitating the design and development of robust, appropriate, and commercially viable medical systems and devices. In this paper, we analyse and discuss the impact of six of these schools held between 2012 and 2017. We used a questionnaire-based survey to collect responses from students who had attended the summer schools. The results of this study demonstrate that the teaching-learning model adopted in the ABEC summer schools was largely effective in promoting biomedical engineering skills, career choices, professional networks and partnerships amongst young African engineers and life scientists who attended the summer schools.

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Published
2020-10-28
How to Cite
Atwine, D., Karanja, Y. W., Ahluwalia, A., De Maria, C., Assefa, D., Konde, V., Khundi, E., Makobore, P. N., Moshi, M., Nzomo, M., Rushdi, M. A., Ssekitoleko, R. T., & Madete, J. (2020). Nurturing next-generation biomedical engineers in Africa: The impact of Innovators’ Summer Schools. Global Health Innovation, 3(2). https://doi.org/10.15641/ghi.v3i2.1004
Section
Research articles