Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for the first time in Ukraine has organized training on rapid methods of TB diagnosis involving international experts
December 16-20, 2013, Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for “Development of Ukraine” for the first time in the country has organized a practical training on molecular genetic methods of TB diagnosis at the National Reference Laboratory (MoH Ukraine) in cooperation with Supranational Reference Laboratory (Latvia). During the training, 25 lab specialists from all over Ukraine were trained in modern methods of TB diagnosis, providing for significant time reduction for TB diagnosis from 3 months to 1 day, as well as improvement of diagnostics quality. As a result, a patient shortly can get 99.98% accurate test results with the pattern of drug sensitivity to all TB drugs and, therefore, immediately start treatment with adequate scheme. This is a key to successful TB treatment.
For the training: “Molecular genetic TB diagnosis. Ensuring quality control of genetic tests", three international experts were involved:
- Stefan Söllner, spokesman and International Product Manager at Hain Lifescience GmbH, a company that supplies equipment for a linear probe analysis for molecular genetic TB diagnosis;
- Girts Skenders, chairman of the Supranational Reference Laboratory for Ukraine WHO (Latvia). He has extensive experience with molecular genetic methods and positive results of the implementation of these methods in the field of bacteriological TB diagnosis;
- Volodymyr Skrypov, exclusive representative of Cepheid (producer of GeneXpert - automated instrument for rapid diagnosis of TB).
“Within “Stop TB in Ukraine” the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation continues to fund the implementation of international standards for TB diagnosing in Ukraine. Such a practical training with the assistance of international experts is one of the important stages of introducing new techniques into the country. Particularly, the Foundation has procured GeneXpert machines (automated systems for the rapid TB diagnosis) and other lab equipment (autoclaves, automatic dispensers, etc.) for the National Reference Laboratory at the amount of more than UAH 1 million, for approbation of molecular genetic methods and training of lab specialists. Moreover, the Foundation has equipped a classroom with all necessary devices to provide quality trainings and workshops at the National Reference Laboratory,” said Kristina Popova, Manager of the Laboratory TB Diagnosis at Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for “Development of Ukraine”.
The premises organization and equipment of the National Reference Laboratory was praised by coaches. In particular, Stefan Söllner, spokesman at Hain Lifescience GmbH, said: “I was really impressed by the laboratory. It’s a brand new and it has perfect room separation. Also, it has enormous potential for increasing the throughput of samples, since all systems are fully automated. This is a very high level laboratory.”
Training on molecular genetic TB diagnosis has received positive feedback from the participants. According to Maria Novokhatska, Head of bacteriological laboratory at the Kharkiv Regional TB Dispensary, this training allowed to deepen the existing knowledge, especially in terms of test results interpretation, “I’ve learned that modern equipment during the test may show the presence of mixes (several various strains at one TB patient). Some of these strains are resistant to rifampicin, and some, it appears, are sensitive. Therefore, for a while one can still continue treating the patient with rifampicin, and not to switch to second-line drugs.” She also thanked Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for the initiative of such trainings: “Unfortunately, so far we had no institution that can train specialists to work on such modern diagnostic equipment. Thanks to the program “Stop TB in Ukraine” at Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for “Development of Ukraine” we have this opportunity and we were able to improve our knowledge, providing for enhancement of work quality of lab professionals, and as a result the accuracy and timeliness of the results.”
Anna Barbova, PhD, Head of the National Reference Laboratory for the microbiological TB diagnosis said that the training, organized by the Foundation, as well as the provision of the modern diagnostic equipment raised the status of the National Reference Laboratory. “We are grateful to Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for organizing the training at our base. The participants were able to obtain information about the operation of instruments from the original sources, to learn about the opportunities and the proper use of equipment while performing tests. The work was organized in a manner that the theory alternated with practice. This allowed the participants to get most of the answers to their questions. Besides, the microclimate of the training was very friendly, and the participants were really pleased. We are grateful that this year is completed with such a significant event for us,” highlighted Anna Barbova.
Under the support of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation for “Development of Ukraine” and based on this training materials, the national experts and the Foundation experts have developed a training module on molecular genetic diagnosis. This module will remain embedded in the curriculum of the National Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education named by P.L. Shupik, as well as it will allow to receive a certificate of state standard and improve the education quality and capacity of laboratory professionals throughout Ukraine.