Meeting of Diagnostic Microbiologists

Meeting of diagnostic microbiologists in Cambodia
Many staff from hospital microbiology labs around Cambodia are attending the NAMRU2 organized workshop for Laboratory Capacity Training on Respiratory Pathogen Testing held at the National Institute of Public Health in Phnom Penh. Vladimir Buron organized a meeting of the staff from the microbiology laboratories where DMDP is working at the end of the day. Microbiology lab staff from three other hospitals also attended this meeting. The meeting lasted for over two hours and lively discussions dealt with the issues of the distribution of sheep blood and the standardization of SOPs for microbiology laboratory procedures. The SOPs will be consistent with Dr. Ellen Jo Baron’s flowcharts for processing specimens and identifying bacteria. Some laboratories in Cambodia have more resources than others and will be able to do more complete bacterial identification. It will also be important to have the SOPs reviewed by the National Institutes of Public Health Laboratory and approved by the TWG for Laboratory Services.

Srey Viso, the chief of the microbiology lab at the National Pediatric Hospital, was chosen by the group to be the focal person for the collection and distribution of sheep blood to the hospitals in the network and payment to the organization caring for the sheep. The laboratory staff chose to continue making their own sheep blood agar plates rather than buying them prepared from the National Institute of Public Health laboratory because they already have a stock of Petri plates and Columbia agar base.

Birgit deSmet, a young microbiologist from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, also attended the meeting. She came with Mr. Kham Chun, the chief of the microbiology lab at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope. Birgit announced that ITM will sponsor a workshop on a microbiology topic in October and invite staff and clinicians from hospitals around Cambodia. Mr. Chun has a great deal of microbiology laboratory experience and is creating a fine laboratory for supporting patient care, clinical research and training of medical technologists and physicians.

A list of diagnostic microbiology staff and contact information was generated to encourage interaction between members of the network. The list will be available on the DMDP website.