Engineering World Health: Building technical capacity in resource-poor hospitals

About this webinar:

The majority of developing country hospitals lack the infrastructure and funds needed to address their healthcare technology needs. This problem is intensified by the fact that medical technology developed and used in rich countries is often difficult or impossible to use in resource-poor settings for lack of specialized human resources, inappropriate design, lack of consumables and spare parts, to mention a few factors. Consequently, billions of people around the world are unable to receive even the most basic healthcare.

Engineering World Health (EWH) is a non-profit organization that mobilizes the science and engineering communities to improve the quality of healthcare in hospitals and clinics that serve resource-poor communities. With this professional expertise, EWH installs donated and newly-designed medical equipment, carries out repairs and builds local capacity to manage and maintain the equipment. This webinar will cover some of the issues that surround healthcare technology in resource-poor settings with an emphasis on the negative impact of inappropriate donations, continue with how EWH’s work attempts to fight these issues and finally how you can get involved.



Julien Benchetrit first became involved with healthcare technology access projects as a biomedical engineering student at Imperial College London. He started out by participating in Engineering World Health’s service-learning program, the Summer Institute. There, he was trained to repair medical equipment and worked at Hospital Regional Atlantida in La Ceiba, Honduras, placing back into service and training the local staff on just under 40 pieces of equipment in four weeks.

Julien has been involved in a number of healthcare technology access projects since then, developing a knowledge base aimed at medical equipment technicians in resource-poor settings and volunteering with an energy access project for Indian healthcare providers among other things. Julien joined Engineering World Health as Student Programs Coordinator in July 2010. He is responsible for the technology design work at EWH, including the Projects That Matter, Chapters, Design Competition and Kits programs. He brings hands-on experience with the technical challenges that face developing world healthcare and numerous technical and communication skills, including web development and fluency in English, French, and Spanish.

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