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GHP Teams Up With Tanzania to Translate Laboratory Documents

CLSI launched the GHP program in Tanzania in 2007 as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) laboratory strengthening initiatives. “In our work with them over the past five years, we realized that the English language was not the language of choice for most staff,” said Patrick Mateta, GHP Senior International Program Manager. “This created a communication barrier, and their understanding of the ISO standard and quality management system requirements was limited.”

GHP staff reached out to the CDC Tanzania and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Tanzania about the need to translate the documents to aid laboratory staff to better implement the standards. The Tanzania Bureau of Standards completed the initial translation over a three-month period; then, the CLSI editors spent another three months working on the documents to ensure that they were translated without compromising structure or content.

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At the August 16 document launch ceremony, the Tanzania Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Hussein Ali Hassan Mwinyi, heralded the translations as a major step forward in the quality improvement of health care delivery in his country. “We believe that the translation of these documents into Kiswahili will bring encouragement and enthusiasm to our laboratory personnel, and thus accelerate our pace toward accreditation of our laboratories on international standards,” he said.

Currently, GHP is working with six National and Zonal Health Laboratories in Tanzania to improve operations, implement quality management systems, and work toward compliance with international laboratory standards. The GHP program includes laboratory assessments, workshops, and on-site mentors to train local staff.

“We have seen labs make slow but steady progress,” said GHP Director Connie Adams. “Some have gotten stuck on plateaus, and some have seen set-backs. All are expected outcomes considering the different situations and challenges. Together, we are learning what works—identifying challenges and working to find solutions.”

 
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