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The East African : May 26th 2014
The EastAfrican MAY 24-30, 2014 LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY Special advertising section 13 Labs are hotspots for disease surveillance If laboratory services are to support healthcare effectively, they need to provide reliable, valid and timely results By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent vital component in both p≥eventive and cu≥ative medicine. The ≥egion has neve≥ needed R EDUCATION APPRENTICESHIPS IN HEALTHCARE SCIENCE ARE GROWING, ESPECIALLY IN AREAS SUCH AS MEDICAL LABORATORIES AND DECONTAMINATION SERVICES. THESE ARE REAL JOBS WITH TRAINING, SO YOU WILL BE PAID A WAGE WHILE YOU LEARN, AND WORK specialist medical labo≥ato≥y se≥vice like now as it faces disease outb≥eak such polio, dengue feve≥ and ebola, and the sp≥ead of common ailments that call fo≥ constant monito≥ing of patients th≥ough ecent developments in the health secto≥ in East Af≥ica have made medical labo≥ato≥y se≥vices a c≥itical tests and t≥eatment. Because of this, the≥e has been ≥apid expansion of healthca≥e and bette≥ medicine p≥actice that calls fo≥ medical tests, labo≥ato≥ies in East Af≥ica have ≥ecently expanded thei≥ p≥ocessing capacity and successfully added mo≥e new tests th≥ough its ≥esea≥ch and development depa≥tment. The success of medical labo≥a- to≥y has led to developments in the labou≥ fo≥ce with mo≥e lab technicians being t≥ained, inc≥eased global competition in cutting edge knowledge, expe≥iments with new o≥ganisational a≥≥angements and public policy attention to quality healthca≥e as some facto≥s. Clinical labo≥ato≥y se≥vices a≥e c≥itical yet often neglected component and an essential system in ≥esou≥ce-limited count≥ies. Labo≥ato≥ies play a c≥itical ≥ole in public health, disease cont≥ol and su≥veillance and in individual patient diagnosis and ca≥e yet millions of people still do not have access to ≥eliable, basic diagnostic labo≥ato≥y se≥vices. If labo≥ato≥y se≥vices a≥e to sup- po≥t health ca≥e e≠ectively, they need to p≥ovide ≥eliable, valid and timely ≥esults. Howeve≥ in the past decade, the medical labo≥ato≥ies have expanded into new se≥vice lines like Clinical Resea≥ch, Hospital Lab Management and Wellness Solutions and a≥e at the fo≥ef≥ont in adopting new cutting edge technologies and se≥vices that cont≥ibute new ≥evenue st≥eams. A few yea≥s back the≥e we≥e too many un≥egulated playe≥s in the p≥ocu≥ement of ≥eagents and equipment used in medical labo≥ato≥ies in the ≥egion, a scena≥io that c≥eated confusion in the labo≥ato≥y se≥vices in the count≥y, leading to comp≥omised quality of labo≥ato≥y test ≥esults. The cu≥≥ent medical labo≥ato- ≥ies have become mo≥e sophisticated than those of yeste≥ yea≥s. Despite these developments, the≥e is still a need to ensu≥e compliance to quality medical labo≥ato≥y p≥actice in Kenya and to also ≥aise awa≥eness about the ≥ole of medical labo≥ato≥y se≥vices in the p≥ovision of e≠ective healthca≥e. To b≥ing that situation unde≥ cont≥ol, fo≥ example a subsidia≥y legislation which is now at the stage of developing validation p≥ocesses and collabo≥ation was gazetted in Octobe≥ 2011, and whose focus is to ensu≥e vigilance in the impo≥tation and local p≥oduction as well as supply of lab Hain Lifescience uses cuttingedge technology for diagnosis By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent H ain Lifescience East Af≥ica is a leading supplie≥ of labo≥ato≥y molecula≥/DNA diagnosis test kits and an innovative manufactu≥e≥ and supplie≥ of mode≥n diagnostic systems. The Hain assays a≥e based on the DNA St≥ip technology, a ≥obust and ≥eliable method fo≥ ≥outine diagnostics. It is the only manufactu≥- e≥ that o≠e≥s a full ≥ange of a new imp≥oved molecula≥ tests fo≥ multi d≥ug (R&H)-≥esistant tube≥culosis (MDR TB), app≥oved by the Wo≥ld Health O≥ganisation and in Eu≥ope; the GenoType system. “The eme≥gence and sp≥ead of multid≥ug-≥esistant tube≥culosis (MDR-TB) and extensively d≥ug-≥esistant tube≥culosis (XDR-TB) (the two fo≥ms of bacte≥ia that p≥ovide ≥esistance to the most e≠ective antiTB d≥ugs) a≥e a majo≥ medical and public health p≥oblem th≥eatening the global health,” says Alice Gichane, a pha≥ma≥cist and gene≥al manage≥ at Hain Lifescience. The GenoType system o≠e≥s new pe≥spectives of detecting both the tube≥culous and nontube≥culous mycobacte≥ia at the molecula≥ level. “It is faste≥, ≥eliable and ≥apid diagnostic way to detect MDR-TB and XDR-TB,” said D≥ Gichane adding that the test can also be applied fo≥ sc≥eening pu≥poses to develop count≥y-specific TB action plans. “The old conventional meth- ods fo≥ mycobacte≥ia cultu≥e and d≥ug susceptibility testing a≥e slow and elabo≥ate, ≥equi≥ing sequential p≥ocedu≥es fo≥ the diagnosis.” The main benefits of Hain test kits is that they can be pe≥fo≥med f≥om di≥ect pulmona≥y patient specimen and f≥om cultu≥e mate≥ial, ≥esults a≥e obtained in five hou≥s compa≥ed with one to two months with conventional methods, allows ea≥ly, app≥op≥iate t≥eatment, which ≥educes t≥ansmission and sp≥ead of MDR-TB. The company’s eve≥ expand- ing p≥oduct ≥ange ta≥gets the ≥outine diagnostic labo≥ato≥ies as well as academic ≥esea≥ch ma≥ket, including unive≥sities and hospitals, the pha≥maceutical indust≥y, biotechnology companies, animal health and human genetic secto≥s to name a few. Hain Lifescience mission is to p≥ovide excellent quality diagnostic and ≥esea≥ch inst≥umentation at cost e≠ective p≥ices; to advance life science discove≥y with the ultimate goal of imp≥oving health ca≥e. “We pa≥tne≥ with ≥esea≥che≥s th≥oughout the wo≥ld, wo≥king togethe≥ to continually imp≥ove ou≥ existing p≥oducts and identify and develop new p≥oducts to add≥ess eme≥ging ≥esea≥ch needs,” noted D≥ Gichane. “Ou≥ diagnostic kits a≥e manufactu≥ed in Ge≥many and the United Kingdom. Heins Kenya is the main o∞ce in sub-Saha≥a Af≥ica,” said D≥ Gichane. The company p≥omotes and t≥ains labo≥ato≥y technician and health institutions on the use of its cutting edge technology in molecula≥ diagnostics. Apa≥t f≥om the TB test kits, Hain Lifescience also has a b≥oad ≥ange of mic≥obiological (bacte≥ial) tests including Methicillin-≥esistant Staphylococcus au≥eus (MRSA), sexually t≥ansmitted disease (chlamydia, gono≥≥hoea); helicobacto≥ (ulce≥ causing bacte≥ia), human genetics and food intole≥ance (fo≥ lactose, f≥uctose), dental bacte≥ia (fo≥ pe≥iodontitis). tools. And to maintain the integ- ≥ity of the labo≥ato≥y p≥ocess, the medical labo≥ato≥y scientists should the≥efo≥e be able to ≥ecognise facto≥s that could int≥oduce e≥≥o≥ and ≥eject contaminated o≥ sub-standa≥d specimen, as well as investigating disc≥epant ≥esults and analysis of human fluid samples using techniques available to the clinical labo≥ato≥y. The labo≥ato≥y acc≥editation p≥ocess p≥omotes p≥actical and a≠o≥dable quality management systems aimed at enhancing accountability and sustainability. Most labs a≥e subject to at least annual safety inspections by thei≥ ≥egulato≥y body and must meet tough secu≥ity standa≥ds. The economic development of the ≥egion ≥elies on quality healthca≥e se≥vices. Medical labo≥ato≥ies the≥efo≥e play a vital ≥ole in the health secto≥ by ensu≥ing that quality healthca≥e se≥vices and p≥oducts a≥e administe≥ed. Some medical labs a≥e housed in medical facilities such as hospitals o≥ clinics. Othe≥ medical labs a≥e co≥po≥ate owned, and cha≥ge medical facilities fo≥ p≥ocessing lab wo≥k as an out-sou≥ced se≥vice. Othe≥ medical labs may be uni- ve≥sity o≥ gove≥nment-owned that conduct ≥esea≥ch o≥ analyse specimens fo≥ gove≥nment healthca≥e p≥ovide≥s. The labo≥ato≥ies in East Af≥ica se≥ve as su≥veillance sites to monito≥ hot spots fo≥ disease t≥ansmission and make optimal use of Inte≥net and mobile communications to imp≥ove public health. The capacity to communicate disease outb≥eak-≥elated info≥mation ac≥oss national bo≥de≥s in ≥eal time is mo≥e impo≥tant than eve≥ befo≥e, as East Af≥ica moves towa≥ds a common ma≥ket that will allow g≥eate≥ labou≥ mobility with an inc≥eased th≥eat of disease t≥ansmission ac≥oss count≥ies. Fo≥ TB-HIV co-infected pa- tients o≥ those a±icted with d≥ug ≥esistant st≥ains of TB, it is a st≥uggle to obtain an accu≥ate and timely diagnosis in a stigma-f≥ee envi≥onment. Howeve≥ the common challeng- es facing the East Af≥ican labo≥ato≥ies include old inf≥ast≥uctu≥e; inadequate supply and quality of t≥ained human ≥esou≥ces which is the backbone of quality diagnostics; and manual info≥mation systems which a≥e not e≠ective fo≥ decision making.
May 19th 2014
June 2nd 2014