The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), is introducing a degree programme for biomedical engineering to ease the challenge faced by the Ministry of Health in training medical engineers and technicians.
Polytechnic held its first forum for the biomedical engineering curriculum development in April and a draft is currently at the University Office in Zomba for approval.
Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr. Charles Mwansambo on Monday welcomed the curriculum development, saying training medical engineers and technicians outside the country was a strain on the economy.
â€œThis can be a strain on the economy in terms of forex, but sometimes the courses offered abroad, especially in the developed world, may not exactly resonate with our demands, aspirations, disease conditions and climatic realities,â€ he said.
Mwansambo made the remarks at the Polytechnic at the opening of a three-week course for about 20 medical engineering technicians.
He said medical engineering technicians are part of the larger family of health professionals who need competence development to perform without posing any risk to public health.
The training is supported by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
In his remarks, Jica deputy representative Shi Moda Toru challenged the 20 medical engineering technicians not to focus on the award of certificates, but what they will offer Malawians after the training.
Principal of the Polytechnic, Professor Grant Kululanga, said there is a lot of equipment in the health sector that uses advanced technology.
â€œFor us to maintain the technology, we need to have the know-how. As a nation we need to prepare for this,â€ he said.