The NPH microbiology lab has received a great deal of support from DMDP, WHO and the Merieux Foundation. Clearly, the children and parents who put their trust in the care of the National Pediatric Hospital deserve a really good microbiology lab, but it has not yet reached that level. Viso, who is the chief of the microbiology lab, and the deputy director of the general lab as well, is not there to supervise the lab all the time and some very poorly trained personnel end up doing microbiology there. Phirun has still not learned how to streak a blood agar plate for isolated colonies. We do count on Phirun, however, to bleed the sheep we keep at RDIC for sheep blood agar.
Unfortunately, in the hospital labs here, the Ministry of Health doesn’t provide enough money for basic lab supplies. Viso was using outdated plasma for a coagulase test because that is all she had and all she is going to have for some time. Meanwhile the French Red Cross had a couple hundred thousand dollars left from some project so they gave it to the NPH to build a real time PCR lab to do viral load assays. Now there are four labs in a 10 km radius with the capacity to do viral load assays and Viso has run out of some antibiotic disks and rabbit plasma to do a coagulase test.