Main Article Content
Medical Devices, Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare Technology, Clinical Engineering, Appropriate Healthcare Technologies, Health Technology Management
Advancements in technology have led to great strides in research and innovation that has resulted in an improvement of healthcare provision around the world. However, it has been shown that majority of the technology is underutilized in Sub-Saharan Africa. The ever-increasing sophistication and cost of medical equipment means that access and proper use is limited in Low- and Middle-Income countries. There is however a general paucity of well documented evidence for utilization of medical equipment in LMICs. The aim of this study is therefore to evaluate the current availability and utilization of medical equipment in tertiary hospitals and research facilitates in Uganda. This will provide baseline information to clinical/biomedical engineers, innovators, managers as well as policy makers.
The study evaluated the equipment currently used in 9 purposively selected public tertiary hospitals and 5 research laboratories representing different regions of Uganda. Data was collected by personnel specialized in the field of Biomedical Engineering utilizing a mixed method approach that involved inventory taking and surveys directed to the health workers in the designated health facilities.
The hospitals contributed 1995 (85%) pieces of medical equipment while the research laboratories contributed 343 (15%) pieces amounting to 2338 pieces of equipment involved in the study. On average, 34% of the medical equipment in the health facilities were faulty and 85.6% lacked manuals.
Discussion and Conclusion
Although innovative solutions and donated equipment address the immediate and long-term goals of resource constrained settings, our study demonstrated that there are a number of issues around existing medical devices and these need immediate attention.