The Ateneo de Zamboanga University is all set to open the BS Biomedical Engineering (BSBME) program, the First and Only in the Philippines, starting June this school-year 2018-2019. This was announced by Fr Karel San Juan, SJ, president of AdZU.
“The BSBME is AdZU’s response to the challenge in the delivery of healthcare services in Western Mindanao, particularly the shortage of medical equipment,” explains Fr San Juan. He said that the lack of equipment such as MRIs, CT scans, and ECG machines, has contributed greatly to the poor health condition in Zamboanga and other places in Region IX where mortality rate is high and resources are meager. Medical equipment are either in poor condition or in disrepair due to overuse or lack of maintenance, and this problem is further compounded by the dearth of qualified technicians and biomedical engineers capable of innovating new biomedical equipment, or maintaining and managing existing ones, he adds.
Envisioned to bring healthcare to where patients are, the BSBME course is aligned with AdZU’s mission of educating and forming students who will work for social transformation by addressing needs in various areas, including health. BSBME, a four-year tertiary baccalaureate program, will train students to become biomedical engineers who will develop, handle, and manage electronics and computer-controlled medical equipment and systems.
In preparation for the new program, AdZU sent Engineering department faculty members Engrs Eugene Kanindot and Louie Virgil Gallardo, and Dr Samuel Cristobal of the AdZU School of Medicine (SOM), for exploratory visits and benchmarking at the University of Calgary (UOFC) in Canada last year. There, they met with UOFC administrators and faculty led by Dr Israel Belenkie of UOFC’s Cumming School of Medicine. Belenkie has also been instrumental in the furtherance of the mission of the SOM by bringing some faculty to Canada for short-term clinical training in Neurology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Ambulatory Pediatrics & Child Psychology since 2012.
This year, another batch of Engineering faculty Engr Zaeefa Pandangan, Engr Niño Christon Lazarte, and Geoffrey Fabian, recently enrolled in UOFC’s audit biomedical courses, and will later proceed to an internship training program.
Having partnered with the healthcare sector in developing the BSBME curriculum, AdZU expects its BSBME graduates to be job-market-ready. Graduates from the first batch of the Senior High School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) track are expected to be among the pioneering class of BSBME. Graduates of other tracks may also enroll after undergoing a bridging program. SHS graduates who are TESDA-trained Biomedical Equipment Services National Certificate II holders and professionals of allied courses, may also enroll in BSBME.
Interested parties may inquire from the Admissions and Aid Office at G/f Bellarmine Hall, BC Bldg., Salvador Campus, La Purisima St, or call telephone no 9910871 local 2211.