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Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
ISSN: 1995-7262
Vol. 25, No. 4, 2013, pp. 101-104
Bioline Code: mm13025
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 25, No. 4, 2013, pp. 101-104

 en Safety assessment in primary Mycobacterium tuberculosis smear microscopy centres in Blantyre Malawi: a facility based cross sectional survey
Majamanda, J.; Ndhlovu, P. & Shawa, I. T.

Abstract

Introduction
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is transmitted mainly through aerosolization of infected sputum which puts laboratory workers at risk in spite of the laboratory workers’ risk of infection being at 3 to 9 times higher than the general public. Laboratory safety should therefore be prioritized and optimized to provide sufficient safety to laboratory workers.
Objective
To assess the safety for the laboratory workers in TB primary microscopy centres in Blantyre urban.
Methodology
TB primary microscopy centers in Blantyre urban were assessed in aspects of equipment availability, facility layout, and work practice, using a standardized WHO/AFRO ISO 15189 checklist for the developing countries which sets the minimum safety score at ≥80%. Each center was graded according to the score it earned upon assessment.
Results
Only one (1) microscopy center out nine (9) reached the minimum safety requirement. Four (4) centers were awarded 1 star level, four (4) centers were awarded 2 star level and only one (1) center was awarded 3 star level.
Conclusion
In Blantyre urban, 89% of the Tuberculosis microscopy centers are failing to provide the minimum safety to the laboratory workers. Government and other stake holders should be committed in addressing the safety challenges of TB microscopy centres in the country to ensure safety for the laboratory workers.
Recommendations
It is recommended that the study be conducted at the regional or national level for both public and private laboratories in order to have a general picture of safety in Tb microscopy centres possibly across the country.

 
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