With the newly installed prefabricated laboratory funded by Australia at the Helena Goldie Hospital and with work on similar laboratories in Taro and Lata hospitals in Choiseul and Temotu Provinces underway, training of laboratory technicians kicked off this week.
Laboratory staff from Lata and Taro hospitals flew into Munda, Western Province to join their colleagues at Helena Goldie Hospital for the training, which was provided under Australia’s laboratory infrastructure support package.
The training is to equip the laboratory technicians with the knowledge and skills to properly operate the equipment, how to set them up, monitor functions, and perform basic maintenance including the use of various instrument software.
During the training, the trainees were able to get a hands-on experience with the equipment.
Mr. Solomon Soakai, a Laboratory Technician at Helena Goldie Hospital, said some of the equipment in the laboratory were new to him despite 18 years of working experience and therefore the training was necessary and very useful.
“I am very excited with this new lab and all the new modern equipment that comes with it including the work space. More importantly, the lab is functioning at 100 percent, meaning we can perform all types of blood tests including collection and storage of blood that will contribute significantly towards our efforts to support the clinical team in diagnosing and treating patients”,
Dr. Hendrick Kaniki, Senior Registrar, Helena Goldie Hospital explained that blood samples are often sent either to the National Referral Hospital or Gizo Hospital.
“Once results are urgently needed and the type of test can be performed at Gizo we will have to send blood samples by boat and the cost at the most can reach up to SBD 2000. If to Honiara by plane, costs can range from SBD 100 plus to SBD200 plus depending on weight”, explained Dr Kaniki.
He said with the new lab and from the hands on training conducted this week, results were made available only within an hour or so without any costs.
Dr Kaniki thanked the Government of Australia in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for the laboratory project and the New Zealand Pacific Pathology Training Centre for delivering the important training.