EQUALS Initiative visits Zambia

A delegation from the EQUALS Initiative revisited Zambia, almost four years after their last trip. The group was led by Prof Frank Murray, past President of RCPI, and also included John Magner, Eoghan Hayden, Karl Bergin and Katerina Prazakova.

The purpose of the visit was to reengage with our Zambian partners and to discuss and agree on the further development of the partnership over the next three years.

The EQUALS Initiative contributes to health development in Zambia through:

  1. Sourcing and donating good quality equipment which becomes available from Irish hospitals to hospitals in Zambia, in response to local need
  2. Supporting the training of biomedical engineers
  3. Supporting the development of postgraduate medical training for specialist physicians

The delegation was delighted to see the significant development in Postgraduate Medical Education and the positive contribution that the donated equipment is making to health care in Zambia.

During the visit, the delegation met with the Senate of ZACOMS (Zambian College Of Medicine and Surgery) and they were delighted to learn of the significant progress made in the delivery of the Postgraduate Training since the ZACOMS training body was officially registered in Zambia in November 2017. The first cohort of 104 postgraduate trainees graduated in October 2022 and there are currently over 400 doctors in training.

The group also met with representatives of the Irish Embassy in Zambia and the Zambian Ministry of Health and agreed with the Ministry to develop a further Memorandum of Understanding to underpin the partnership.

Visits to General, Women’s and Children’s Hospitals were undertaken in both Lusaka and Ndola, where the delegation saw first hand the value of donated equipment to Zambian patients and hospital staff.

While recognizing that significant progress is being made in the training of the medical staff and the biomedical engineers, the delegation identified opportunities for the College to further contribute to Zambian Healthcare through the EQUALS Initiative partnership.

The EQUALS Initiative continues to work towards health development in Zambia. If you become aware of reusable medical equipment which is being replaced in your hospital or clinical setting, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact katerinaprazakova@rcpi.ie.