By Mhret G/Kristos

ADDIS ABEBA – More than half of all biomedical equipment in hospitals and health facilities across Ethiopia are out of order, officials said.

In rural part of the country, the state of the equipment could even be worst with at least 70% of the devices are not working properly, several recent studies claim. 

Lack of effective use was given as major reason but lack of biomedical technicians has increased the backlog of non-functioning devises that cost the country millions dollars.

Ethiopia invested over a billion birr for procurement of medical equipment last year alone, according the ministry of health.

The country, however, is facing “very big problem” to sustain their functionality, YakobSeman, director of general medical service at the ministry. 

He said the capacity of the health intuitions to handle medical equipment too “is very limited”.

“We need a well coordinate and management system to fix them,” said Yakob.

On Monday, the German cooperation agency launched a 13-million-euro project to increase the capacity of Ethiopian professionals, mainly biomedical technicians.

“Maintaining (medical) equipment requires specialist skills which are rarely found in Ethiopia,” said Peter Palesch, GIZ Country Director for Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Through the three-year project, the agency said will work with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Sciences and Higher Education on how to use medical equipment effectively and build capacity building and technical training.

For the coming 20 years, equity and quality in health services are amongst the key goals, as seen in the Ethiopian Health Sector Transformation Plan (2015/16 until 2019/20).(The Daily Monitor)