*DOTS stands for Directly Observed Treatment Short course that is the internationally recommended strategy for tuberculosis control.
For the last 3 years, I am working as a microbiologist in TB reference laboratory for TB control program, North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan. It was 3 years ago that I established this laboratory to undertake TB control program of this region. My main tasks in this laboratory are: to control all the network of TB diagnostic laboratories; to provide regular trainings to microbiologists; to supervise quality assurance service; and to provide culture and DST (Drag Sensitive Test) service. My laboratory provides regular training to about 60 professionals annually, who come from 204 diagnosis centers (laboratories) in all over the NWFP. From all these tasks, I have been feeling there was a constant need of human resource training in the laboratory work and its significant role for nation-wide TB control program.
Pakistan which ranks in top 10 countries having large number of TB patients faces many issues on TB control program including shortage of equipment and budget, lack of technical improvement, quality of culture, and DST service. Thus my main propose of this training was to learn more details of culture and DST which are still in the experimental stage in my country, and to gain the knowledge for improving AFB* microscopy service, so that I can apply the new technology as well as deepened knowledge in my laboratory service.
After returning to my country, first of all, I would like to improve overall training technique in the regular training program as well as technique of microscopy scale for AFB* microscopist. This may lead to the fundamental improvement of our TB control program. Further, I want to apply new technique in culture and DST, which will raise the curing level, for the better service provision. I wish to foster more professionals for the country’s TB control program. Now my new challenge will start!
AFB= Acid Fast Bacilli that is mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria for causing disease of tuberculosis
March 15, 2011