Tanzanians Graduate from Malaria Microscopy Course

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Humphrey Mfinanga, a malaria microscopy course instructor, explains the theory of antibodies for malaria at the National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance building in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, January 19, 2010. Mfinanga went through the course in November and December when members from the U.S. Army Medical Unit-Kenya and National Institute of Medical Research trained Tanzanians in a train-to-trainer course. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse, CJTF-HOA) CJTF-HOA Photo DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Humphrey Mfinanga, a malaria microscopy course instructor, explains the theory of antibodies for malaria at the National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance building in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, January 19, 2010. Mfinanga went through the course in November and December when members from the U.S. Army Medical Unit-Kenya and National Institute of Medical Research trained Tanzanians in a train-to-trainer course. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse, CJTF-HOA)
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - U.S. Army Major Eric Wagar, U.S. Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya (USAMRU-K), speaks to a class of Tanzanians graduating from a malaria microscopy course at the National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance building, January 22, 2010. The USAMRU-K and the Kenyan Medical Research Institute facilitated the course. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse, CJTF-HOA) CJTF-HOA Photo DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - U.S. Army Major Eric Wagar, U.S. Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya (USAMRU-K), speaks to a class of Tanzanians graduating from a malaria microscopy course at the National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance building, January 22, 2010. The USAMRU-K and the Kenyan Medical Research Institute facilitated the course. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse, CJTF-HOA)
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Misana Nyabungdge, a lab technician with the Nyasho Health Center in Musoma District of Tanzania and a student of the malaria microscopy course, records his results of parasite counting at the National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance building, January 19, 2010. Students recorded their results to be checked by their instructors. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse, CJTF-HOA) CJTF-HOA Photo DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - Misana Nyabungdge, a lab technician with the Nyasho Health Center in Musoma District of Tanzania and a student of the malaria microscopy course, records his results of parasite counting at the National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance building, January 19, 2010. Students recorded their results to be checked by their instructors. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Ronald Lafosse, CJTF-HOA)

Twenty-one Tanzanians graduated from a two-week malaria microscopy course at the Tanzania National Health Laboratory and Quality Assurance Center, January 22, 2010.

The training came together through the cooperation and funding of multiple agencies within the U.S. government.

Seven Tanzanians from the November to December 2009 train-the-trainer course returned to instruct the students. They taught two methods of identifying malaria: rapid diagnostic testing and malaria microscopy.

In Rapid diagnostic tests, a blood sample is placed on a thin film and then put into a tube with a bonding agent. Fifteen minutes later, the film has a line if malaria is present.

The second method, malaria microscopy, involves the counting of parasites from a blood sample using a microscope. This helps determine the severity of a malaria case and also to see if treatment is helping a patient.

The Tanzanian participants also learned about the benefits of quality assurance, quality control and standard operating procedures.

By training instructors, Tanzanians are helping to improve the quality of malaria diagnosis at hospitals and health centers within their country.

"The most important element of what we've done these past two weeks is that seven Tanzanians, who were trained during phase one of our course in November and December 2009, have actually led the instruction of 21 of their fellow Tanzanians with the support and coaching from our partners from the Kenyan Medical Research Institute and Soldiers from the United States Army Medical Research Unit-Kenya," said U.S. Army Major Eric Wagar, Malaria Diagnostics and Control Center of Excellence director.

For many health care facilities, the standard treatment for patients exhibiting malaria-like symptoms is to treat for malaria. With the rapid diagnostic test, Tanzanian medical facilities will have the capability to test a patient for malaria and get results within minutes.

"For the first time in the history of this country, we are bringing a device that can detect malaria at the lowest level of health care, where initially there was no such thing," said Fidelis Simon Mgohamwende, program officer for the National Malaria Control Program.

This will lead health care providers to treat patients more accurately and also help families by preventing the unnecessary purchase of medications that may not be needed.

"Drugs are expensive and if you are taking anti-malaria drugs and you don't have malaria, not only have you wasted the drugs, you've also wasted money to buy those drugs and you've treated people unnecessarily," said Wagar.

The 21 newly trained lab technicians will return to their respective health care facilities across Tanzania to train their co-workers.

Tags

Tanzania Training Health

We suggest

A joint approach to field sanitation

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines gathered to take part in a week-long Field Sanitation Team Training course at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Feb. 13-17, 2017.

Tanzanians, CJTF-HOA Partner for Veterinary Civic Action Program

Fifteen Tanzanian animal healthcare professionals, Soldiers from the U.S. Army 448th Civil Affairs Battalion, and the Joint Civil Affairs Team in Tanzania assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa came together to participate in a two-week Veterinary Civic Action Program, or VETCAP, training session in Mkinga District, Tanzania Sept. 3-14.

The VETCAP was broken into two stages: three days of classroom training and eight days of field training in eight different villages in

U.S., Uganda forces build mental resilience

A U.S. Army Soldier deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and more than 40 members of the Africa Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) gathered for a sharing of best practices for mental health Oct. 10, 2016, in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Tanzania rangers showcase anti-poaching skills

Tanzania Rangers held a demonstration day to show off their newly acquired skills after training with soldiers from the U.S. Army North Carolina National Guard and 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion August 24, 2016, at Rungwa Game Reserve, Tanzania.

U.S. Army trains Tanzania Rangers to combat poachers

U.S. Army Civil Affairs Battalion, a component of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, and North Carolina Army National guard soldiers trained Tanzanian Park and Game Reserve rangers in counter-poaching.