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Optimum Biomedical Partnership with UK-Med

October 2021

Here at Optimum Biomedical, we are pleased to be working in partnership with UK-Med.

UK-Med announces, “We’re excited to announce our new responses in Eswatini to support their COVID-19 responses, in partnership with the WHO.’

Biomedical Engineer, Rob Shutt, has arrived in Eswatini to deliver a four-week training course to biomedical technicians. The course teaches the use of oxygen equipment, which is essential for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.

In the New Year, Eswatini was hit by a surge of COVID-19, which also hit its neighbouring country, South Africa, at the same time. Eswatini was almost completely dependent on oxygen supplies from the larger country, but with the borders closed and South Africa’s own oxygen supplies in short supply, Eswatini was left with a huge oxygen shortfall – just 45% of the oxygen it needed. This had a devastating impact on patient care.

Optimum Biomedical sent a team as part of the UK Emergency Medical Team in late January 2021. The team’s biomedical engineer, Sean, supported the Ministry of Health in planning for the installation of four national oxygen plants, making Eswatini capable of providing 70% of its own oxygen needs.

During this four-week follow-up response, Rob will be:

  • Leading theoretical and practical training sessions on equipment testing, fault finding, maintenance and decontamination; providing technicians with a ‘train the trainer’ session. This will enable them to pass on their new knowledge and skills to technicians from around the country.

As Eswatini comes to the end of battling a third wave of COVID-19, with daily cases peaking at nearly 5,000 per day in mid-August – nearly twice the number of daily cases during the second wave (Eswatini MOH) – this vital work will help to equip healthcare staff in Eswatini to be able to better manage the ongoing battle with the virus.