We implement international standards for diagnostic laboratories and expand the diagnostic spectrum to improve patient care.
TRAINING OF SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONALS:
IMPORTANT STEP TO THE RIGHT DIAGNOSIS
Each year in sub-Saharan Africa, ∼12 million people die, and the majority of death are generally attributed to infectious diseases.
The clinical examinations are not sufficient enough to distinguish for example malaria, meningitis or sepsis - all of them require fast action.
Reliable laboratory diagnostic is important for all medical specialties, especially for internal and pediatric medicine. The majority of African laboratories cannot consistently provide even basic laboratory services, leading to an error rate of over 50%.
This correlates with misdiagnosis, inadequate use of antibiotics, decrease in patients’ condition, and unnecessary loss of life. Therefore, resource-poor provincial hospitals lack another important tool in the detection and treatment of diseases. Nevertheless, laboratory medicine is a neglected field in patient care.
Laboratories are usually given low priority and recognition in most national health delivery systems. Therefore, quality laboratory services remain to be among the major challenges for appropriate and timely responses to epidemics, for disease control and patient management. Very few laboratories have capabilities for diagnosing highly infectious diseases such as viral haemorrhagic fever. Shipping of specimens results in delayed responses to outbreaks.
We therefore aim to implement international standards for diagnostic laboratories and to work towards quality education for laboratory and scientific professionals to improve patient care.
TIMELY RESPONSE TO EPIDEMICS, DISEASE CONTROL AND PATIENT MANAGEMENT
A DECENTRALIZED, NATIONAL BLOOD BANK FOR SUSTAINABLE, LIFE-SAVING SUPPLY WITH BLOOD PRODUCTS
Blood transfusions are an important core service of any healthcare system. Blood transfusions are necessary for severe malaria diseases, which kill thousands of children in Malawi every year, but also for bleeding before, during or after childbirth, for treatment of sickle cell and other genetic blood diseases. Traffic accidents and surgical interventions also require life-saving blood transfusions.
The country's central blood bank manages to cover around 30% of the requiered blood products. Due to the corona pandemic, this number has fallen to less than 10% and has lead to serious crisis. This massive shortage of blood is a huge problem in health care.
In order to adress this crisis, we are working on the establishment of a decentralized blood bank in partnership with the "Malawi Blood Transfusion Service".