Menzies supports TL expanding microbiology service in five municipality

Menzies supports TL expanding microbiology service in five municipality

The laboratory director from Maubisse referral hospital explaining the process for using and maintaining the new Bactec machine, which is used for blood culture testing (Photo/Menzies)

DILI, 11 may 2023 (TATOLI)- Menzies School of Health Research collaborates with Timor Ministry of Health (MoH) National Health Laboratory (NHL) and the Hospital Nacional Guido Valadares (HNGV) to expand Microbiology service in Five referral hospitals located in Baucau, Suai, Maliana, Maubisse, and Oecusse.

The expansion was done through the implementation of microbiology laboratory services with high-quality lab equipment, The equipment includes BD Bactec for blood culture testing, an Olympus microscope, Biosafety Cabinet, an incubator, and an autoclave, along with the ability to access results through a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

The implementation of this equipment has improved healthcare. Health staff can now electronically access blood tests and culture results at a patient’s bedside. This enhanced access allows quicker clinical care decisions informed by laboratory results.

Executive Director of the National Health Laboratory, Endang Soares da Silva, said there have been several benefits from expanding the microbiology service. She said it has increased access to microbiology diagnostics and decreased late referrals, and delayed or incorrect treatment.

“The introduction of LIMS at the referral hospitals facilitates clinicians with timely reporting of laboratory results, hence, patients are able to access treatment rapidly, resulting in better health outcomes.”

Menzies played a key role in supporting the procurement and installation of microbiology equipment, providing training, and assisting with sample collection and testing. This also included encouraging clinicians to utilize the tests available as well as access results through the LIMS.

Co-lead of Menzies Timor-Leste projects, Associate Professor Josh Francis, said that the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Health on this capacity-building project arises from the commitment from the Government to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance and to improve the quality of care available for Timorese patients.

“What has been achieved is remarkable. Timor-Leste has rapidly gone from having a very limited capacity for microbiological diagnosis to having state-of-the-art technology functioning in each referral hospital, that enables highly trained Ministry of Health staff to carry out accurate testing for bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance. We have seen evidence of lives that have been saved through these developments, and it is exciting to be a small part of it, and to see the leadership from Ministry of Health staff in making it happen.”

This work has been made possible through financial aid from the Fleming Fund Country Grant to Timor-Leste. The grant supports testing and surveillance for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU) in human health and animal health through a One Health approach.

The Fleming Fund is a UK aid program managed by the UK’s Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC).

The Country Grant to Timor-Leste, awarded to Menzies, is managed by the Management Agent, Mott MacDonald.



Journalist: Camilo de Sousa

Editor: Nelia B.


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