Having an own fully equipped laboratory within the clinic is one of our special goals.
Why? Because it shortens processes, develops diagnosis quality and speeds up decision making. It simply supports the quality of patient treatments.
As with our entire clinic, we started small with the laboratory, in 2018, after opening the Baboucarr Gai Facility Block. We couldn’t afford a full-time Lab Technician and did only basic test, then. Even blood tests, we had to do manually.
Nevertheless, our lab was growing fast: in March 2019, we hired a full-time Lab Tech, and only in October 2019 we added a binocular microscope with laptop and camera to the lab.
For 2020, we set fundraising priorities on extension of lab equipment.
Because, it would save us from a lot of outsourced test, would reduce costs, and increase clinic’s revenues, instead. But the Covid-19 pandemy set a temporarly end to that priorities, as we had to focus on sheer surviving of clinic and shelter.
However, luck sometimes comes unexpected: In May 2020, our German partnering Gesundheit und Bildung Gambia e.V. – Health and Education Gambia Society was approached by a major foundation (which wishes to stay anonymous) seeking for donation oportunities on the field of medical and educational development. They found our work supportable and donated fabulously 1.500 € to use for extension of our laboratory. June 2020, we got in contact with a Gambian distributor of test-kits and lab equipment and agreed on the kind of material to purchase. July 2020, we finally extended our lab capacities with more malaria test kits, pregnancy test kits, urine test, gloves for the lab, and bleeding lancets.
We still saved part of the revenues to buy us an full automated Hematology Analyzer. Due to Covid-19-pandemic, we had to deal with heavy setbacks in all our clinic departments, also in the lab. But in December 2021, again with the support of Health and Education Gambia Society and with the support of German publisher Thieme Group, we finally purchased a blood analyser that significantly expants the quality of our lab service again.
So, 2022 markes the year in which we count our laboratory as well organised and quite fine equipped that it can truely be considered as a serios laboratory.