Greetings to you all,
Wellington based training courses 2015.
The Haematology course for 2015 which commenced on the 2nd March and concluded on the 27th March once again was an excellent learning opportunity for the students who attended. The five students included, Epitani Vaka (Tonga), Stephen Able and Terry Kalorib (Vanuatu), Maud Faumuina (American Samoa), and Barieti Itaaken (Kiribati)
Phil Wakem the PPTC’s CEO and Haematology specialist was the principal lecturer for this course and the PPTC is very grateful to Elizabeth Tough (Chief Morphologist, Haematology Dept, Wellington Hospital,) for sharing her expertise and experience in blood – borne parasitology with the students. Elizabeth was also our guest speaker and presenter to the students on graduation day.
Health and Safety and Infectious Diseases
The Health and Safety and Infectious Disease course provided by the PPTC, commenced on the 13th April and concluded on the 8th May. Russell Cole, the PPTC’s Laboratory Quality Manager and Microbiology expert, was the principal lecturer for the duration of this course and must be congratulated for its success especially as it was a new course introduced this year. The five students who attended this course were as follows:
Mr Semisi Lenati from Tonga ; Elaine Hevoho, Pamela Umbu, and Fova Naoka from Papua New Guinea; and Makerita Ieremia from Samoa.
The PPTC wishes to thank Manisha Morar (Quality Assurance and Occupational Health Administrator, Aotea Pathology), Ricky Benn (Med Lab Scientist, Wellington Hospital Biochemistry Dept) and the staff from ESR for donating their valuable time to our students over the duration of the course.
The three remaining courses for this year which are to be offered at the Centre in Wellington include:
- Microbiology: 31st August – 25th September 2015
- Phlebotomy: 5th October – 23rd October 2015 [Cancelled]
- Blood Transfusion Science: 2nd November – 27th November 2015
The PPTC Regional External Quality Assessment Programme
The PPTC has great pleasure in welcoming Max Reed to the PPTC in the capacity of joint co-ordinator for the PPTC’s REQA Biochemistry programme. Max is currently HOD of Biochemistry and Haematology at Aotea Pathology Ltd in Wellington. She is a fellow of the NZIMLS, a Member of the AACB and is the NZ representative on both the AACB Education committee and Harmonisation Working Group.
She has worked in both hospital and private laboratory settings and has a particular interest in education in all areas of laboratory medicine, having been involved in moderating the NZ university courses in Medical Laboratory Science, as well as tutoring and mentoring Scientist, Technician, Phlebotomy and Specimen Reception candidates in both their examination and continuing education goals.
Filipo Faiga is currently the Biochemistry Section Head at Wellington Hospital, a PPTC Board member and an experienced Biochemistry consultant who has worked with the PPTC for many years now.
Now that the PPTC’s REQA programme has expanded to 65 Laboratories Pacific wide, both Maxine and Filipo have agreed to share the Biochemistry Coordinators role now that Clare Murphy has retired, and we are very grateful to them both. Maxine will oversee the Cambodian programme, and Filipo will oversee the Pacific programme.
On the 18th May, Susan Evans ( Supervising Scientist – Wellington Blood Bank, New Zealand Blood Service) travelled to Tonga at the request of the PPTC as a consultant for Blood Transfusion Services and carried out teaching and training at Vaiola Hospital in Blood Banking. This visit was of great benefit to the laboratory in terms of Sue’s wealth of experience and expertise, and there is a strong possibility that a return visit will be made nearing the end of the year to assess and evaluate the progress of good practise that she was able to initiate during her visit.
Between the 25th and 29th May, Phil carried out a Laboratory Quality Management visit to Apia’s National Hospital primarily for the purposes of process improvement within the Haematology Laboratory.
Filipo is scheduled to visit Apia’s National Hospital for two weeks in July-August to carry out Biochemistry training. During the two weeks, Filipo will also visit Savaii, to assess the laboratory overall in terms of its quality systems.
Both Phil and Russell visited the Marshall Islands from the 15th - 19th June to facilitate further implementation of principles and concepts of the Laboratory Quality Management programme and monitor its progression since the last visit in June 2014.
Cambodia and the PPTC’s regional External Quality assessment programme
WHO Cambodia have requested that the PPTC provide four weeks of teaching and training in Cambodia to enhance the REQA performance of the Cambodian laboratories currently registered on the PPTC’s REQA programme. Phil and Navin Karan (PPTC Programme Manager) will provide the first workshop in July and a second workshop will be provided by Phil and Russell later in the year.
Russell and Navin are scheduled to visit Vanuatu between the 6th and 10th July to assess progress of Laboratory Quality Management implementation in the laboratories of both Port Vila and Espiritu Santo. Visits to Vanuatu have been placed on hold in past months due to the devastation of Cyclone Pam and the disruption to services within Vanuatu. The country is beginning to recover slowly and the PPTC can now continue its valuable work in promoting quality throughout each of the laboratories diagnostic processes.
The desperate need for Pathologists in the Pacific
Most Pacific laboratories do not have the luxury of recruiting and financially supporting full time Pathologists. With reference to a very small number of Pacific Laboratories that are supported by a general Pathologist, Medical oversight of the diagnostic services has proved to be extremely valuable in terms of relationship development between Hospital Clinicians and the Laboratory, critical diagnostic interpretation, service accountability, and assistance given to the PPTC in its pursuit of Laboratory Quality Management throughout all laboratory processes.
In 2016 the PPTC will consider the establishment of a scheme to recruit NZ Pathologists on a temporary/rotational basis to visit laboratories in the Pacific region offering clinical/diagnostic and managerial expertise. In defining a Pathologist, the PPTC refers to discipline specific specialists including Haematologists, Cytologists, Anatomic Pathologists, Microbiologists, Chemical Pathologists, and Immunohaematologists. The main advantage of a rotational system is that a selection of Pathologists (as above) who are specialists in their own field could be commissioned if possible by the PPTC at different times throughout the year. The consultancies could vary between one week and four weeks and the duration of stay would be dependent on the current need each country’s health system has identified.
Dr Julia Phillips ( Resident Haematologist, Wellington Hospital) will accompany Phil on visits to Tonga, and Samoa in the second half of this year, and possibly Vanuatu later in the year for the purpose of Haematology training in blood film examination, cell recognition and clinical interpretation. Julia will also interact with clinical staff to identify Haematological issues and strengthen diagnostic processes.
For Pathologists who are interested in short term consultancies in the Pacific Islands, please contact Phil Wakem at the PPTC for further information. (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Phil wishes to sincerely thank all Medical Laboratory Scientists who have forwarded their names and CV’s to be considered for future short term Haematology consultancies in the Pacific. He now wishes to compile a list of Biochemistry , Microbiology and Blood Banking Medical Laboratory Scientists who have had at least 5 – 7 yrs experience in their chosen discipline as well as Laboratory Quality Management and who would be interested in future short term projects for the PPTC.