Ninety percent of Kenyan radiographers lack certified specialty training, with the training gap continuing to widen due to the recent upsurge in the radiography equipment install base and an upward shift in the equipment technology.
GE Healthcare is aiming to change that by supplying lessons on the latest medical imaging technologies and techniques to a minimum of 140 radiographers as part of a two-year partnership with the Society of Radiography in Kenya (SORK), announced this past week at the bi-annual Radiographers Scientific Conference (RASCO) in Mombasa, Kenya.
"The availability of well-trained radiographers in an ever-evolving healthcare industry remains low, despite rise in demand. There is need to provide continuous training specifically focused on various imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Focus where radiographers can acquire specialized skills on modalities," Andrew Waititu, general manager for GE Healthcare East Africa, told HCB News. “To improve workflow efficiencies, there is need to improve radiographic equipment handling techniques.”
The program will take place at the GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute, an education facility for healthcare professionals in Karen, Nairobi, with the healthcare giant supplying trainees with course material, a curriculum, lecture aids, simulations, trainee and trainer manuals, and webinars for online training as per applicable law and regulation.
Training will pertain to radiation safety and protection and include lessons on the uses of CT, MR, contrast media, mammography, ultrasound, molecular imaging, conventional imaging, radiotherapy, and management and leadership imaging services.
The program is not the company’s only endeavor to improve access to quality care in Africa, having launched the Vscan Access, a portable ultrasound system designed specifically for developing nations to help obstetricians and midwives. The device has since gained traction in delivery rooms and labor wards throughout Europe
The aim of the training is to raise the availability of well-trained radiographers to keep up with demand, and to equip radiographers with specialized skills on various imaging modalities. It also ties in with GE’s commitment to support education and training as part of its partnership with SORK.
“The current training is both a diploma degree program for producing a general radiographer, and paving the way for diagnostic and therapeutic pathways and access," Kenneth Wangari, council president of SORK, told HCB News.
The GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute was inaugurated in 2016 and has since supported more than 1,000 professionals.