Modernizing healthcare infrastructure in the Republic of Zambia

Philips celebrated the completion of the installation phase of a seven-year project to modernize the healthcare infrastructure of the Republic of Zambia in 2008. The program, part of the Dutch government’s ORET international development initiative, has seen substantial improvements made to 71 hospitals across the country. It has included the training of over 200 local hospital staff, creating a sustainable skills base that will ensure a brighter future for the provision of healthcare in the country.

ORET

The EUR 25 million project included the installation and maintenance of diagnostic imaging equipment including mobile X-ray, fluoroscopy, ultrasound scanners, operating theaters and dental treatment systems. Funding was provided by the Dutch and Zambian governments, each contributing 50% of the project’s costs. Holding overall responsibility for the project implementation, Philips partnered with education provider Fontys to train a local workforce of radiologists, laboratory technicians, nurses, midwives and other medical staff.

Working closely with partners
“From the start of the project in 2002 we’ve worked closely with our partners in Zambia to provide much more than just technology solutions – we’ve sought to lay the foundations of an improved system of medical care,” said Paul Smilde, Vice President and CFO for Philips Healthcare Middle East, Africa and Central Eastern Europe. “The project has had a tangible and valuable impact on the quality and availability of healthcare in Zambia. This is due to the combined efforts of the Dutch government, the Zambian government and the local project team, which included many local experts.”

Philips will continue to maintain the equipment it has installed, and with its partner Fontys has implemented a “train the trainer” program to ensure that the benefits of the project continue to be realized for many years to come. To provide surgical and dental solutions for the project Philips partnered with Simed, a provider of turnkey healthcare solutions.

Making it official
The completion of the installation phase of the project was celebrated during a ceremony held at Kabwe General Hospital in central Zambia, during which ownership of the medical equipment installed during the project was officially handed over to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health for the Republic of Zambia, Dr S.K. Miti. His Excellency the Ambassador of the Netherlands Mr. E.J.M. Middeldorp was present on behalf of the Dutch government.