Window on Kisiizi

Window on Kisiizi

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Culture and Sensitivity...

no..... not a previously undiscovered novel by Jane Austen but a big development in Kisiizi...
the old room before renovation...

We are very grateful for our colleagues from Chester who are here for 2 weeks helping us set up a microbiology laboratory able to culture bacteria from various samples and then to assess their sensitivity to antibiotics.

Ian had been involved in a study published back in 1995 looking at cultures done over a month or so but we have not had any further work on this until now.

Changing the roof sheets...
We have been able to move the Electricians' workshop to a new location in one of the old theatres and so could relocate the surgical clinic and release the room for use as a microbiology lab.  It connects to the main lab and by re-organising we have been able to open up the intervening office area to house the small autoclave etc needed.

Our aim was to have a room with good natural light levels so we had to replace some of the normal iron roof sheets with clear plastic to put in skylights.

We now have 3 clear panels and it has certainly helped improve the lighting in the lab areas.

Then we needed surfaces that are easy to clean so put in a new floor and tiles plus workbenches with
formica tops.

We moved an incubator to keep the cultures warm and a microscope in to the room and replaced the old sink that was too small for its new use.

The next challenge was an email from Chester asking if we had a "Class 1 Safety Cabinet"?  Having found out what this is, we realised that we did not possess this item that is to help our staff remain free from infection when handling samples.  We therefore decided to modify an old baby incubator that was no longer functional, and install a fan in the base to extract air from the chamber which would be accessed through the original perspex hand ports.  The extracted air passes through a filter which can be changed regularly.
the old incubator...

The extracted air passes to the bucket and is filtered

 ... and finally...

the Kisiizi Class 1 Safety Chamber mark 1!

 but, you are asking yourselves, does it work?

We set up a very high tech test to check it out... would the smoke from a candle be drawn in through the hand port-holes indicating a negative pressure chamber effect?

While we had been busy setting up the above, repairing autoclaves and fridges etc, our colleagues in Chester had worked very hard to assemble a wide range of equipment to help set up the lab.

Happily they sailed through customs and immigration without any problems and arrived safely in Kisiizi.

so all the pieces of the jigsaw were taking shape...

the first control culture showing the media is fine...
 The first patient sample that was processed gave the staff a surprise when they looked at it down the microscope - they found what is probably tetanus organisms in a sample from the wounds of a man involved in a bad road traffic accident who had spent quite a while in a government regional referral hospital before being transferred to us with severe infected wounds.  Unfortunately we are now growing some very unpleasant multi-resistant organisms from this sample... and in fact have had to order a new antibiotic, amikacin, not previously used in Kisiizi as its the only thing the pathogen is sensitive to.

We are hoping our home-grown bugs are more friendly when we get results next week..

So a huge thanks to our own lab staff and our enthusiastic visitors
Dr Ildiko, Consultant Microbiologist' Sam, Infection Control Lead  & Sharon, Senior Lab Scientist

Dr Ildiko's birthday party


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