The state-of-the-art equipment in the lab
* Laboratory was indicated after noticing a number of challenges in the area of research and diagnosing
* Where all samples were required to be sent outside Malawi for tests
By Victor Singano Jnr, Correspondent
Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS) — in collaboration with the University of Glasgow with funding from Scottish Government — has opened a state-of-the-art health facility named Blantyre-Blantyre Research Facility Laboratory to conduct medical tests for patients.
This is towards addressing excess medical burden arising from infectious and increasingly non-infectious and the co-existence of multiple diseases in Malawi.
Speaking during the opening ceremony which took place on Monday at KUHeS Blantyre campus, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Mallewa said management decided to establish the laboratory after noticing a number of challenges in the area of research and diagnosing laboratory — where all samples were required to be sent outside Malawi for tests.
He said results of the samples were a bit tricky as the quality of samples had chances of changing the actual quality due to transit distance time.
Mallewa added the newly-launched facility has also, among other things, been installed with the latest automated diagnostic equipment and is supported with cutting edge laboratory information management and financial software and is in the process of working towards international accreditation.
He said Blantyre-Blantyre Research Facility will also be used as a centre for the study of multi-morbidity aimed to train local clinicians and allied health professionals to provide a clinical service to undertake clinical surveys and to further assess the inflammatory non-communicable disease burden in Malawi.
“Previously, we have been sending samples abroad such as South Africa as well as India and some of our patients were being referred to other countries to undergo testing.
“But this will now be story of the past because all the required processes will be done locally and our doctors and clinicians in and around Blantyre will be able to send their patients to Blantyre-Blantyre Clinical Laboratory Facility’s for quick and accurate results,” Mallewa said.
University of Glasgow’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anton Muscatelli said they thought it wise to partner with KUHeS in establishing the facility to help in facilitating research and in other biomedical research areas.
“This is the best standard facility that most universities don’t have and it will provide up-to-date information to allow the country to deal with medical issues and fast research and will hopefully benefit Malawi for many years to come,” he said.
The laboratory will, among other things, be dealing with pathologies, tests for diseases such liver problems, high blood pressure, infections and cancer.