Reusable medical equipment from Ireland is to be donated to hospitals in Zambia next month in response to local need, as part of an innovative scheme to improve healthcare and training. Building on pre-existing relationships and a legacy of collaboration, Zambia has become the primary country of focus for engagement.
Ultrasound machines, in-patient beds, labour and delivery ward beds, infant incubators, an ENT microscope and fetal monitors will be among the large shipment that departs Dublin Port for Zambia at the end of July, as part of the EQUALS Initiative.
Details of the latest EQUALS initiative were confirmed today as part of 2017 #medtechweek, which is being hosted by the Irish Medical and Surgical Trade Association (IMSTA).
The EQUALS Initiative was jointly founded in 2013 by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Health Service Executive, and it aims to provide medical equipment and quality support through partnerships in healthcare to less developed countries. Now, IMSTA has become an official collaborator on the project.
Four hospitals and a training institute in Zambia will benefit from this year’s shipment. The equipment will go to institutions where the EQUALS Initiative can make an impact in terms of training.
Included in the shipment will be 50 in-patient beds, 20 labour and delivery ward beds, and 10 ultrasound machines. Pieces of equipment donated are items that are being replaced or no longer required by Irish hospitals but are still fully functioning, and meet the international criteria for equipment donations.
The healthcare and training needs are substantial in Zambia. We see opportunities to improve outcomes there in partnership with the authorities in Zambia. Healthcare equipment from Ireland has a huge potential to deliver benefits in Zambia. We look forward to collaborating with IMSTA to optimize opportunities to benefit Zambian patients. RCPI and HSE have developed a significant collaboration around training and equipment in this area, and the involvement of IMSTA has the possibility of bringing this to a higher level. It fulfills part of our mission statement to improve patient outcomes.Prof Frank Murray, RCPI President
IMSTA recognizes the vital role of medical technology in contributing to the development of healthcare services and to address the unmet equipping and training needs in less developed countries. Alike with our partners on EQUALS, we are deeply committed to the common goal of contributing to the improvement of global health.
We are delighted to be on board with this positive and virtuous initiative as it continues to go from strength to strength. Many of our members in the medical technology sector would have supplied the equipment being donated and they will be heartened to know that it can still have a significant impact after being taken out of service in Ireland. IMSTA’s access to medical equipment coupled with our bioengineering expertise can support the work of EQUALS in donating equipment and providing training in equipment maintenance in Zambia and other less developed countries. This will enable hospitals in these countries to provide essential safe and high-quality health care which will address medical needs and save lives.
Mr Justin CartyChief Executive Officer, IMSTA
This is an exciting development for the EQUALS Initiative. We put a lot of effort into training health professionals but this is only effective if they have functioning equipment where they work. We look forward to collaborating with IMSTA members to increase the provision of much needed medical equipment to hospitals in Zambia and other less developed countries. This will lead to better quality of care and improved outcomes for patients.
Dr David WeakliamNational Lead, Global Health Programme, HSE