December 16, 2011, Dallas, TX — Proud graduates of the Fall 2011 MediSend Biomedical Repair Training Program™ have returned home to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Papua New Guinea. The six-month program was part of a 2011 grant from ExxonMobil to train biomedical technicians, install biomedical repair laboratories and to distribute medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and communities in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Cameroon and Chad.
The class was comprised of a diverse group of individuals from far-ranging locations and cultures, but the bonds and friendships they formed with each other and with their MediSend “family” spanned all distances. The semi-annual graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates took place last Saturday, December 10th and proved to be a bittersweet event.
The ceremony and luncheon were filled with tears of joy for the class’s excellence. Cynthia Obarisiagbon of Nigeria was the highest-ranking student that has graduated from the MediSend program since its inception in 2006. Cynthia not only achieved the highest grades, but assumed a position of leadership in the class that promises to carry over into her hospital and community in Nigeria. Her roommate, Felisa Nnang Nguema, came to MediSend quiet and cautious, but has returned home to Equatorial Guinea with confidence and leadership skills that will make a marked difference for other women and girls in her country. Felisa and Cynthia formed a strong friendship and will no doubt continue to communicate and collaborate from their homes in two very different countries.
ThankGod Nwokedi, also from Nigeria, came to MediSend already working as a biomedical technician in his hospital, but with basic electronics training. Now, he leaves MediSend with the professional skills to trouble-shoot and repair sophisticated biomedical equipment.
Onda Kupri and Philip Kandaki, from Papua New Guinea, know that they are returning to a country with extremely limited resources and one that is desperate for improved healthcare conditions. They are returning home to contribute critical support to doctors, nurses and healthcare providers in hospitals that are in extreme need of well-maintained biomedical equipment.
There were also tears of sadness in parting with friends. The group became a team – a team of supportive trainees and finally a team of skilled professionals taking pride in their accomplishments over the past six months. The MediSend Biomedical Repair Training Program is highly comprehensive and demanding. There is little time for leisure and all of the trainees’ efforts are focused on graduating to return home and impact healthcare in their communities.
The trainees have said goodbye to MediSend and the Elisabeth Dahan Humanitarian Center, MediSend’s headquarters and campus in Dallas, Texas, where they have had a life-changing experience.
A new group of technician trainees will arrive at MediSend in January to begin a similar journey. Trainees from Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Kazakhstan and Peru will arrive in Dallas to spend six months in intensive training. MediSend has now trained and redeployed 78 highly-skilled biomedical technicians and has installed 78 Biomedical Equipment Test and Repair Laboratories in 14 countries around the world.