GE Healthcare, the $19 billion healthcare business of General Electric, a leading provider of medical imaging, monitoring, biomanufacturing, and cell and gene therapy technologies, has signed a two-year partnership with Society of Radiography in Kenya (SORK) to equip a minimum of 140 radiographers on the latest radiography technologies and techniques.
Through the partnership, radiographers will be trained on radiation safety and protection, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) focus, use of Contrast Media, conventional imaging and mammo focus, radiotherapy focus, ultrasound focus, management and leadership imaging services and molecular imaging.
“There is need to increase skillsets of healthcare workers, especially in radiography. Despite having qualified radiographers in the country, 90% of radiographers do not have certified speciality training. The recent upsurge in radiography equipment install base and an upward shift in technology on the equipment has also widened the training gap,” said SORK Council President, Kenneth Wangari.
Wangari made the comments during the bi-annual Radiographers Scientific Conference (RASCO) in Mombasa.
He said “to improve workflow efficiencies, there is need to improve radiographic equipment handling techniques. We are partnering with GE Healthcare to develop course material, curriculum, trainees and trainer’s manuals, lecture aids, simulations and webinars for online training as per applicable law and regulation.”
GE Healthcare enables precision health in diagnostics, therapeutics and monitoring through intelligent devices, data analytics, applications and services. With over 100 years of experience in the healthcare industry and more than 50,000 employees globally, the company helps improve outcomes more efficiently for patients, healthcare providers, researchers and life sciences companies around the world.
Andrew Waititu, General Manager, GE Healthcare East Africa, said GE Healthcare will continue to work with the private and public sector to improve healthcare delivery through training of healthcare professionals.
“The partnership with SORK will lead to improved outcomes for patients and the overall healthcare system through localised capacity building”, he said.
The continuous training program will be conducted using GE Healthcare imaging machines and simulation software where applicable at the GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute, an education facility for healthcare professionals in Karen, Nairobi.
The availability of well-trained radiographers in an ever-evolving healthcare industry remains low despite rise in demand.
Experts believe there is need to provide continuous training specifically focused on various imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) focus where radiographers can acquire specialized skills on modalities.
“The Society of radiographers in Kenya is keen on embracing partnerships that will reduce the radiology specialty certification gap. There is also need for County Governments to facilitate radiographers across the country access essential modality speciality training to ensure capacity use of installed radiographic equipment,” added Kenneth.
Kenya currently has 1,400 radiographers. Through the training, the radiographers will be better skilled to take precise imaging for better analysis and referrals hence reducing the cost, time and complexity of inappropriate diagnosis.
The partnership with SORK is part of GE Healthcare’s commitment to support education and training through leveraging its expertise in designing and running technical courses in Healthcare. In 2016, GE inaugurated a healthcare training and skills institute in Kenya designed to train health professionals. Over 1,000 professionals have benefited from the institute since its launch.