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First Specimen Collection Training Curriculum in Sub-Saharan Africa


Launches at Kenyan Medical Training College

NAIROBI, Kenya – BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) a leading global medical technology company, and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), today announced the launch of the Center for Excellence in Phlebotomy and Specimen Collection at the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC). KMTC, a department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, is establishing a phlebotomy course for training healthcare workers.

The collaboration aims to improve quality and safety of specimen collection by building the capacity of healthcare workers in Kenya. Through the establishment of the Center of Excellence in Phlebotomy and Specimen Collection within KMTC, the program will provide both pre-service and in-service training. Healthcare workers, including laboratory technologists, nurses and clinical officers, will be trained in the safe collection of blood and other specimens required for the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases. The Specimen Collection Training Program is an expansion of the Kenya Safer Blood Collection Initiative, a collaboration between PEPFAR and BD to improve blood collection practices in Kenya.

“Our collaboration with PEPFAR in Kenya has demonstrated that proper specimen collection practices help protect healthcare workers and ensure accurate diagnoses,” said Gary Cohen, Executive Vice President, BD. “The establishment of a formal training program with the Kenya Medical Training College will ensure this training will continue on a consistent and sustainable basis.”

BD and KMTC will work together to build capacity for diagnosis, management and monitoring of HIV and other diseases in Kenya. BD’s donation will be valued at up to $125,000, and will help cover the costs of training faculty, curriculum development, training materials and equipment, and renovation of the first Center of Excellence in Phlebotomy and Specimen Collection within KMTC in Nairobi, Kenya.  BD will provide KMTC with modern training technologies, hands-on skills stations and also support curriculum development, content and capacity building at the facility. BD will also apply its expertise in providing training in occupational safety and key clinical and laboratory procedures, which are vital components of healthcare capacity building and sustainability. These trainings will help improve the safety of healthcare workers and patients, while helping to reduce needlestick injuries and the transmission of HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne pathogens.

“In this era of HIV/AIDS, the opening of this Center of Excellence is a milestone towards the improvement of health worker safety and reduction of pre-analytical errors to ensure reliability of laboratory results,” said Dr. Charles Onudi, Director, KMTC.

“We are pleased to be able to support this collaboration and to provide linkages between the private sector and our partners in Kenya to combat HIV and other diseases that may transmitted through unsafe blood collection,” said Katherine Perry, PEPFAR Coordinator in Kenya. “Blood safety is an important component of our PEPFAR strategy and the safety of the public and healthcare workers in both receiving and providing healthcare services is critical.”

The Kenya Safer Blood Collection Initiative launched in June 2010 and is the first program to provide comprehensive training and education of safe blood-drawing practices to Kenyan healthcare workers.  In its first year, training occurred in eight facilities, that provides services for 60 percent of the Kenyan population.  During this time, BD, CDC and the Kenyan Ministry of Health trained more than 500 healthcare workers and 20 faculty members.  The program has since expanded to reach over 2,000 additional health workers in over 30 health facilities throughout the country.  Results to-date show greatly improved blood-drawing knowledge and skills, reductions in improper practices and higher levels of healthcare worker confidence.

Source: PRNewswire