In South Sudan, another step in the fight against malaria took place on Tuesday, May 17, when the Ministry of Health officially received a new training tool. It is a “malaria glass bank”, that is to say in French, a “collection of slides about malaria”, the purpose of which is to train South Sudanese to detect various forms of malaria under the microscope.
as reported from Juba, Florence Miettaux
It is a small cabinet with drawers containing hundreds of transparent slides that are placed under the lens of a microscope to perform examinations. These slides fixed blood samples infected with various species of the Plasmodium parasite, responsible for malaria. Thanks to them, laboratory technicians will be able to be trained in detecting various forms of malaria under the microscope. This project, led by NGO Amref Health Africa, also resulted in the certification of six South Sudanese technicians by the World Health Organization for the first time.
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in South Sudan, due to limited access to care and lack of equipment and qualified personnel.
Samuel Modi is well aware of the shortcomings in the South Sudanese health system where diagnoses for lack of something better are often made based on the patients’ symptoms.
He is a defender of treatments based on microscopic analysis and is one of the laboratory technicians who is now authorized to provide training: “This training taught us to distinguish the different types of malaria. I will train other colleagues in the lab to diagnose malaria correctly. Starts with slide preparation, staining, examination and parasite counting ”.
The trainers will now test the skills of laboratory technicians in the country because it is still necessary to know what type of malaria it is to treat malaria effectively.
Malaria is very complex because if you do not identify the species, the doctor will find it difficult to treat the patient. Then there is density. Microscopic analysis can help count the parasites. If the parasitemia is high, the doctor will adjust his treatment to save the patient. So these slides will be used to improve skills and increase South Sudan’s diagnostic capacity, ”said Michael Lasuba Lokore, Acting Director of the South Sudan Public Health Laboratory.
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With an average of 287 people out of 100,000 infected, South Sudan is still one of the countries hardest hit by malaria in the world.