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Buea Hospital Acquires Modern Laboratory Equipment 

By Walter Wilson Nana

Buea Regional Hospital recently acquired a C4G Basic Laboratory Information System, BLIS, thanks to an initial idea from the Mutengene-based and US-funded Centre For Disease Control, CDC in 2009. At the launching of the BLIS package, recently, at the Buea Regional Hospital, Prof. Santosh Vempala, the brain behind BLIS from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, explained BLIS; "It allows laboratories to keep track of patients’ specimens results in one system.

Laboratory technician explaining how BLIS package functions

There is one point of entry of all these. It generates reports and you can look at the history of the patient. You can also look at the health trends of the population. It follows the laboratory function from the point of registering the patients to the point of reporting the results. It allows for weekly and monthly views to see how things are changing in the population and to allow the laboratory prepare for the future."

According to Vempala, BLIS is going to reduce the margin of errors made during transcription in the laboratories; it will reduce the burden on the laboratory technician on having to log all the details, where it takes much of their time, instead of them working on the specimens gathered.
"It will reduce the waiting time for patients and give the laboratory technicians the opportunity to monitor the prevalence of diseases across the municipality.

These worries will be easily managed and time for quick measures to be put in place to ward-off the disease(s)," he said. Dr. Judith Shang, CDC Laboratory Director, corroborated the US health expert. "BLIS is designed to permit effective information management and ensure that patients results are accurate, accessible, delivered on time, secure and confidential. It will provide a solid foundation for a comprehensive laboratory management from specimen – in to results – out," said Dr. Shang.

She said Laboratory Information Management System is a key component of quality assurance. "Therefore the partnership between CDC and Buea Regional Hospital is a symbol of the determination to develop a quality improvement culture in the facility," she added. To ensure that the efforts of CDC and Buea Regional Hospital continue to thrive, Global Health Systems Solution, GHSS, designated by the Ministry of Public Health, will oversee the capacity building of the laboratory staff.

Aware of the task ahead of them, GHSS Director, Dr. Patrick Njukeng, said: "The package is intended to bring hope in laboratory management, modernise our health system and to capture information coming from the laboratory in all forms. We will have an overview of all that goes on in our health system, disease surveillance and statistics about drug resistance."

Director of the Buea Regional Hospital, Dr. Victor Mbome Njie, said BLIS is the dream tool for every laboratory director, while recalling that since April 2009, CDC has become an invaluable partner in ensuring that the BLIS package boosts their actions geared towards the goal of their laboratory achieving WHO – AFRO accreditation.

Charles Mbella Moki, Mayor of Buea Municipality and Chairman of the Hospital Management Committee expressed happiness for those behind the efforts to improve the health of his community and the government of Cameroon for approving the operations of the C4G BLIS package in the country. The C4G BLIS packages have also been installed at the Douala Lanquitinie Hospital, the Bamenda Regional Hospital and the Nkongsamba General Hospital.

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