Biomedical Engineering History in Kenya

In Kenya, the government in collaboration with the Austrian government started an artisan training program at Loitokitok sub district hospital on a pilot basis. The artisans were very useful to hospitals for general repair works but due to the rapid change in technology there was need to upgrade and expand artisans training to technician level and three other Hospital Maintenance Training School's (HMTS's) were established at strategic locations to offer the same course. These were located in Kilifi, Meru, and Eldoret. They exist to-date. All the schools are constituent colleges of KMTC and have been supervised from KMTC-Nairobi since inception.

The ministry of health and Mombasa Polytechnic in partnership with German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) felt that there was need to train technologists at diploma level to meet the challenges that were being experienced and so a Diploma course in Medical Engineering started in Mombasa Polytechnic (now Technical University of Mombasa) in 1986.

In the year 2000, an In-service Diploma course was initiated at the KMTC- Nairobi campus to upgrade the Certificate holders to Diploma, and then a Pre-service course was also established at the KMTC – Nairobi campus in the year 2007. The Eldoret campus followed suit soon after. Need for upward mobility in the careers of our professionals saw KMTC – Nairobi campus start a Higher Diploma program to upgrade the Diploma holders. Egerton University equally came up with a Bachelors in Technology Degree program in Industrial Technology (Biomedical Engineering Option) in 2003. Lately Kenyatta University has started a Bsc. Degree Program in Biomedical Engineering for people fresh from high school in September 2013.

All graduates of Medical Engineering were regularly deployed to work in Hospital Maintenance Units (HMU's) in public hospitals all over the country until 1995 due to change in government policy. The number of Medical Engineering personnel being absorbed into public service has drastically reduced and the employments spread far apart. A number of these graduates find work in private hospitals, Kenya Armed Forces, Medical equipment supplies companies, the hotel industry among others.