The Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) has been making significant strides in the fight against malaria. This is evident through the implementation of the Towards Malaria Elimination (TOME) Project in the Salima and Lilongwe districts. The TOME project is a local mechanism supported by USAID through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). Recently, a Malaria Diagnostics Refresher Training (MDRT) was organized by TOME, aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of 38 laboratory personnel from government and CHAM health facilities in the two districts. The training, which was held from June 26th to 7th July 2023, proved to be a resounding success, with enthusiastic participation from all the trainees.
Dr. Lumbani Munthali, the Deputy Director of Preventive Health and National Malaria National Control Program Manager) officially opened the training. In his address, Dr. Munthali stressed the importance of collaboration between clinical and laboratory personnel in the fight against malaria. Dr. Munthali emphasized the dire consequences of delayed test result interpretation, as it often meant patients received crucial feedback far too late. He reminded the participants that the power of accurate diagnostics could save lives and safeguard precious time for both clinicians and patients.
Senior Lab Scientist Kandakuone Makamo, representing the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM), expressed great satisfaction with the training. Mr. Makamo further highlighted the valuable skills and knowledge that the lab personnel gained during the sessions. The Trainer of Trainers delivered the training materials effectively, ensuring that the participants could apply acquired knowledge and skills in their practical situations.
Petros Chirambo, the Technical Lead of the TOME Project, shared his contentment with the overall outcome of the MDRT training. He expressed confidence in the newly acquired skills of the laboratory technologists, technicians, and assistants. Chirambo believes that the enhanced capabilities of these personnel will lead to improved malaria diagnostics and better patient care in the Salima and Lilongwe districts.
The success of the MDRT training marks a significant milestone in the TOME Project’s journey toward malaria elimination in Malawi. By strengthening the skills of laboratory personnel, the project aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of malaria diagnostics. This, in turn, will ensure that patients receive prompt and accurate test results, enabling healthcare providers to administer appropriate treatments promptly.
The dedication and commitment of the CHAM, DAPP Malawi, and TOME team, combined with the support of the NMCP and the valuable contribution of PHIM, demonstrate a collaborative approach to the fight against malaria. With the continued implementation of such training programs and the sustained efforts of all stakeholders, the TOME Project is paving the way for a future where malaria will no longer be a threat in Malawi’s Salima and Lilongwe districts.