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Bridging the Gap: Czech Initiative Boosts Biomedical Engineering Education in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The Czech Republic has taken a pioneering step towards addressing the critical gap in Cambodia's healthcare sector by introducing a Biomedical Engineering program. This initiative, led by Professor Karel Roubik from the Czech Technical University in Prague, began in 2019 with the goal of enhancing the local biomedical engineering landscape and tackling the significant shortage of technical professionals in Cambodian hospitals.

Despite facing hurdles, including a halt in operations due to the global pandemic, the project demonstrated remarkable resilience, resuming its educational activities in early 2022. The program's commitment to practical learning was highlighted through hands-on training sessions conducted at the Institute of Technology Cambodia. These sessions focused on crucial topics such as fluid mechanics and plumbing, essential for understanding the operation of medical devices.

In 2023, the project entered its second phase, which involved laying the foundations for formally establishing the Biomedical Engineering profession in Cambodia. This phase included engaging in strategic discussions with local educational institutions and the Ministry of Health, aiming to formalize the curriculum, establish specialized laboratories, and organize a conference to spread awareness about the profession.

One of the notable challenges the initiative faces is the limited general awareness of the importance of biomedical engineering in Cambodia. This underscores the urgent need for trained personnel capable of managing and maintaining medical equipment efficiently. To address this, the Czech-led team has not only provided hands-on training but has also initiated an outreach campaign targeting high school students. The campaign aims to inspire the next generation of professionals to pursue careers in this vital field, ensuring the sustainability and growth of biomedical engineering expertise in Cambodia.

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