The lab standards training we provide in Haiti is having a real, lasting impact in improving systems and procedures in laboratories across the island nation. Case in point – the laboratory at Lascahobas Hospital.
Lascahobas Hospital is in the central highlands of Haiti and is part of the Zanmi Lasante healthcare system, a long-term project with the organization Partners in Health. Prior to Heart to Heart International (HHI) providing training for lab managers and technicians, the laboratory at Lascahobas was audited and met just 6% of the World Health Organization Laboratory Standards.
In 2011, working in partnership with BD, we launched a countrywide training program to teach the WHO Laboratory Standards to lab technicians and managers with a goal of seeing year-to-year improvements. The program’s expectation for laboratory staff attending the training is that with diligent work and systemic changes in their labs they can attain a score of 95%, or 5 Stars, under the WHO standards.
By the time the Lascahobas lab was audited again, 18 months after HHI’s first training in Haiti, the Lascahobas lab manager Florence Joseph and Betty Alexander, the director of laboratories for Zanmi Lasante, had attended just two of the one-week training sessions.
This next audit showed remarkable improvement, with the Lascahobas lab scoring 77% of standards. This was an amazing transformation for a small, rural laboratory in Haiti. This leap forward is a testament to the importance of investing in improving lab standards and highlights the dedication of those attending the training.
Now, those responsible for these improvements continue to attend training sessions, and have all become leaders in the newly formed Haiti chapter of the Clinical Laboratory Managers Association (CLMA), which HHI helped to establish. Through the resources this professional association provides, and with the standards training provided by HHI, these Haitian lab professionals are passing on their knowledge to their peers and working in a supported, coordinated manner to improve laboratory medicine in Haiti.
TO DATE: 247 laboratory managers, representing more than 80 laboratories, hospitals and clinics, from across Haiti have attended the WHO Laboratory Standards training provided by Heart to Heart International in partnership with BD.