The EQUALS Initiative was established in 2013, following a request received by Prof Frank Murray from an Irish doctor in Zambia asking to help source an ultrasound machine for Monze Mission Hospital. It soon became apparent that there was no official mechanism in place that would facilitate the donation of reusable medical equipment from Ireland to countries in need and Prof Murray and his colleagues in RCPI and the HSE sought to rectify this.
Together, RCPI and the HSE established the EQUALS Initiative, to address some of the global inequalities in health through reciprocal, local partnerships.
Over the past ten years, the Initiative has evolved from a primarily equipment-centred model of support to a much more holistic approach, supporting both equipping and training need at a national level in Zambia. Specifically, the EQUALS Initiative contributes to healthcare development in Zambia through:
- Sourcing and donating good quality equipment which becomes freely available from Irish hospitals to hospitals in Zambia, in response to local need
- Supporting the training of biomedical engineers
- Supporting the development of postgraduate medical training for specialist physicians
Key achievements for the Initiative to date include the shipment of 15 40ft containers of reusable medical equipment to the Zambian Ministry of Health, and the direct support of the establishment of the Zambian College of Medicine and Surgery (ZACOMS).