The WFUMB Centers of Education (COE´s) shall provide education in medical ultrasound in countries where there is a need. They should grant recognition to participants after completion of courses, accumulate ultrasound related reference materials and serve as reference centers for the region, they are situated.

WFUMB Center of Education (COE) is the name for an institution, which offers education in ultrasound for doctors and medical personnel, regularly (at least once a year). It has to be recommended by the ultrasound society of its country or region and recognized by WFUMB. A dedicated and responsible person is appointed as Director and is in charge of the COE.


 Dr. Hassan Gharbi (MASU - Tunisia) instructs hands-on training in Tanzania

Dr. Hassan Gharbi (MASU - Tunisia) instructs hands-on training in Tanzania


Centers of Excellence (COE`s) were a project of WHO, originally. Harald Østensen, former medical officer of WHO, had the idea, to establish centers for education in basic radiology for developing countries, one center in each continent of the world. He started this project in the late nineties and founded the „Global Steering Group for Education and Training in Diagnostic Imaging“, chaired by WHO, to discuss the projects of several organizations in this field and to improve the cooperation.  
At the same time, WFUMB and WHO started a closer cooperation, initiated by Barry Goldberg. H. Østensen stressed his special interest for the promotion of ultrasound in developing countries. Based on the discussions between H. Østensen and H. Lutz, it was agreed and decided that the centers for ultrasound should be founded separately from the centers for basic radiology and under the responsibility of WFUMB. WFUMB founds the COE`s in cooperation with its regional member-organization and based on a formal contract with the national societies for ultrasound.

Centers of Education

Bangladesh Society of Ultrasonography (BSU), Bangladesh, established in 2004
Uganda Association of Sonography (UGASON), Uganda, established in 2004
Sociedad Venezolana de Ultrasonido en Medicina (AVUM), Venezuela, established in 2005
Romanian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, Romania, established in 2007
Indonesian Society of Ultrasound in Medicine, Indonesia, established in 2011
Kenya Society of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (KESUMB), Kenya, established in 2013
Mongolian Society of Diagnostic Ultrasound (MSDU), Mongolia, established in 2013
Nigerian Society of Ultrasound Practitioner (NSUP), Nigeria, established in 2013
Societe Togolaise D'Ultrasonographie Medicale, Togo, established in 2013
Ethiopian Ultrasound Society, Ethiopia, established in 2014
Sociedad Paraguaya de Ecografia, Paraguay, established in 2015
Society for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology of the Republic of Moldova, 2017
Sudanese Society of Gastroenterology, Sudan, 2017

The COE shall be established for an initial term of 2 years as a “candidate”. The agreement with the COE shall be eligible for renewal on a biennial basis thereafter. In order for the agreement to be renewed, the COE must have upheld its responsibilities in accordance with this agreement and be approved for renewal by the WFUMB COE Advisory Board and the WFUMB Administrative Council.

Specialty, capability and experience of the director and his/her team, and the capacity of the institution are the decisive criteria for the classification of the COEs.
A COE may offer:

  1. Ultrasound courses (basic, advanced and for special fields and techniques) at regular intervals
  2. Training facilities for long term education in practical ultrasound
  3. Library and teaching material 
  4. E-learning facilities

It may also serve as a reference center (e. g. via telemedicine) for the region and especially former students.
Larger, high level centers may spread their activities and efficiency in the region by founding and supporting satellite centers in its region.    

Basic (minimum) criteria for a Type 1 COE are:

  • Organization of courses for basic ultrasound and the use of ultrasound in at least one specialty (e. g. OB/GYN or abdominal work) including hands-on training, at regular intervals
  • Library and teaching material

Prerequisites for a Type 2 COE are:

  • Organization of ultrasound courses for basic and advanced ultrasound at frequent intervals (>1/year) in – at least – one major specialty (e. g. Ob/Gyn or Gastroenterology)
  • Training facilities for long term education in practical ultrasound
  • Library and teaching material
  • E-learning facilities
  • A center level 2 may show the specialty, in which it works (e. g. CE for ultrasound in Ob/Gyn)

Criteria of a Type 3 COE: 
Are centers based out of a university hospital or another high level hospital and are able to offer all facilities, mentioned above in at least 2 or more specialties. Such a center may spread its capacity by organizing satellite-centers (level 1 or specialty centers). It may serve as a reference center for ultrasound in the region and may have contact to its satellite centers and former students, via telemedicine, ideally.

Responsibility of the COE

The COE shall be responsible for conducting annual educational programs under the name of “WFUMB Center of Education," through the sponsoring Society, and providing timely activity reports to the WFUMB COE Advisory Board and WFUMB Administrative Council.  The COE is responsible for managing all of its financial obligations, consistent with its WFUMB-approved budget. During the first 5 years of the contract, an annual grant of up to $5,000 (USD) per year is available to defray administrative and travel costs associated with COE activities. After 5 years, the COE must be financially independent of WFUMB and will no longer be eligible for annual funding.

Responsibility of the sponsoring society

The Society sponsoring the COE must be a legally-established organization and partnered with a WFUMB federation. It must be located in a developing country and possess an independent office with sufficient past experience in ultrasound education. Also, it must have the ability to attract trainees, not only from its own country, but also from surrounding countries. The Society shall initiate the administration of the COE, taking advice from the WFUMB COE Advisory Board. The secretary of the COE, who represents the COE, shall be appointed by and reside within the office of the Society.

Responsibility of the Education Committee/COE Advisory Board

The WFUMB COE Advisory Board provides counsel regarding a COE’s education curriculum; reviews COE requests and recommends approval of said requests to the WFUMB Administrative Council; recommends teachers/educators for the COE educational programs from the other societies affiliated with WFUMB; and reports on the activities of the COE to the WFUMB Administrative Council. It has the right to send observers to the COE`s. 
The committee organizes meetings of the COE directors of a region every 2 years together with the chairman/women or his/her substitute every 2 years, in connection with a regional ultrasound conference.

Responsibility of teachers, sent by WFUMB

Teachers sent by WFUMB, to support the education program of a COE should send a report about their experience at the COE/conference to the education committee.