Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Tanzania Moves to Build Laboratory Capacity

From PBS NewsHour, Washington D.C., United States
By Talea Miller

Shortages in laboratory supplies and trained technicians in Tanzania cause delays and gaps in diagnosis that can put patients' health at risk.

At Mwanza's Bugando Hospital, one of the largest in Tanzania, laboratory workers sometimes must wait months for necessary supplies to run common medical tests.

Omany Kapande, a lab technician, said delays in the supply line and a lack of training slow productivity.

"We will perform tests but be waiting for the reagents for up to three months" said Kapande.

The CD4 count machine used to determine the level of an HIV infection couldn't be used for a month because the chemicals were not available. The hospital and surrounding facilities that rely on the lab had to make treatment decisions without knowing CD4 counts of patients during that period.


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