Monitoring of the Bacteriology course at the laboratory of the Maternal and Children's Care Hospital in Kumasi (Ghana)

Monitoring of the Bacteriology course at the laboratory of the Maternal and Children's Care Hospital in Kumasi (Ghana)

Probitas Foundation backs the GLI program with the support of the Microbiology Department at the Vall de Hebron University Hospital

Between 26 and 29 September 2017 a microbiologist from the Microbiology Department of the Vall de Hebron University Hospital, Mateu Espasa, visited the city of Kumasi (Ghana) with the goal of supporting and supervising the work done there since October 2016, within the framework of the GLI Kumasi project, launched in 2012. The GLI (Global Laboratory Initiative) programme in this African city focuses on bolstering the laboratory service of the Maternal and Children's Care Hospital (MCHH), the only infrastructure specialised in the treatment of severe childhood malnutrition in the country's south-central region.

GLI-Kumasi
Since its inception GLI Kumasi has adopted as its main objectives strengthening the diagnostic capabilities of the Maternal and Children's Care Hospital and providing health care to the most vulnerable rural communities, living on cocoa plantations under precarious conditions with limited access to healthcare. The effective implementation of this project will contribute, in the long-term, to reducing maternal morbidity and infant mortality rates, as well as improving the diagnosis of malaria and other serious diseases affecting mothers and children in the health centre's area of influence.

Monitoring the operation of the laboratory in relation to bacteriological diagnoses
Last year a 15-day training programme was offered (between September 26 and October 7) on the diagnosis of bacteriological infections via cultures, taught by microbiologists at Barcelona's Vall de Hebron University Hospital. In addition to the course, Probitas provided the Kumasi hospital laboratory with specialised equipment for work with bacteriological cultures, and support for the purchase of reagents for haematology and other laboratory materials.

This year the visit to the Kumasi Hospital focused on monitoring the development of the laboratory technicians' skills acquired in the previous course, as well as reinforcing knowledge of antibiotic susceptibility techniques. The specific objectives that were set during the stay were to identify the possible limitations of the laboratory with regards to bacterial microbiology, and to review the theory and practice of work with bacterial diseases, the processing of samples, the detection of bacteria, the identification of bacteria, and susceptibility tests.

Some of the strengths worthy of note with reference to current conditions at the hospital, and specified by the microbiologist on site in the territory, were:
 
  • The work with bacterial cultures is progressing satisfactorily.
  • Hospital staff are skilled and motivated in the work they do.
  • The diagnosis of patients has been improved.
  • The demand for cultures has increased.
  • The clinical protocol is being observed.
  • The appropriate antibiotics are prescribed, depending on the results of the cultures.

However, some of the most visible weaknesses detected during the visit, and which merit attention, were also highlighted:
 
  • The request system
  • The registration of test results
  • The drafting of reports
  • The collection of samples

Going Forward
After Probitas' involvement, and that of the Vall de Hebron University Hospital, it can be stated that the Kumasi Hospital has seen significant improvement in the diagnosis of infectious diseases and effectiveness in their treatment.

Going forward, what Probitas expects, along with the Microbiology department at Vall de Hebron University Hospital, is that the hospital will be increasingly less dependent on help and, little by little, self-sustaining. The local community is also expected to be even more aware of the benefits that lead to good health care, and more committed to being part of it, in order to encourage infrastructure improvements.