Health Cabinet secretary Susan Nakhumicha Wednesday underscored the significance of affordable and accessible medical equipment and associated technologies in healthcare delivery.
Speaking in Mombasa during the 13th Association of Medical Engineering of Kenya (AMEK) Scientific Conference and Exhibition, the CS said the availability of efficient biomedical equipment remains key in the realization of the Universal Healthcare agenda even as she pledged to strengthen regulation of medical equipment in the country.
“We are developing an essential equipment list for the medical equipment in the country which will be an additional list to the essential medicine list and Assistive Technology devices list to support standardization.”
“This will ensure quality, appropriate technology as well as provide guidance for donations and proper disposal taking into consideration the potential effect on the environment,” said Nakhumicha.
She lauded the efforts of Biomedical Engineers who she said are health workers providing a critical service to ensure reliable service delivery through the use of the right devices at the right calibration for diagnostics or treatment.
“The need for an increase in numbers of cancer centers, expansion of health infrastructure and COVID-19 pandemic opened our eyes to the inadequacies of our health system including the shortages in the numbers of biomedical engineers.”
Nakhumicha said the Ministry is working on ensuring that the Biomedical Engineering profession is regulated like other professions in the Ministry of Health.
“I have directed Kenya Health Professional Oversight Authority (KHPOA) to include all unregulated cadres under its umbrella and work with them to ensure their regulatory needs are catered for. I urge the Association to work with KHPOA on matters regarding regulation,” she added.
Mombasa Deputy Governor Francis Thoya, acknowledged the important role Biomedical Engineers play in the health sector saying they contribute to the provision of quality healthcare.
According to AMEK Secretary General Engineer Millicent Alooh, biomedical Engineers should stay abreast of emerging technologies and equipment in the market in order to effectively support service delivery.
The theme of this year’s conference is Embracing Innovations and Inventions in Healthcare Technology management post-Covid -19 pandemic in low-resource Countries.