Increasing the number of pathologists practicing in underdeveloped countries will allow accurate diagnoses that will save lives. Improving the existing laboratories will improve turnaround times for speedier treatment of the diseases, and the ability to send cases out for consultation.
JANUARY 2018 PROJECTS
Teaching anatomic tissue dissections with histologic correlation. Proper dissection and selection of pathological tissue samples requires training that is lacking in UG. The residents use outdated books to direct them to dissection procedures. Path of Logic will provide instruction on site for all cases encountered during the January visit, as well as a presentation of proper tissue dissection techniques for breast, colon, and uterine tissues, with modifications made to accommodate resource issues.
New Pathology Textbooks. The current books used in the laboratory for the residents are outdated and damaged. Grossing manuals and current pathology literature will enhance the learning of
Correcting the issue inadequate fixation (preservation of tissue). Quality slides, which are required to make quality and accurate diagnoses, require properly preserved patient tissue. This trip, Path of Logic will provide reusable vessels that the laboratory staff will transfer patient tissue to once it arrives, allowing the proper ratios of fixative to tissue. Proper fixation requires a 20:1 ratio of formaldehyde to tissue volume. In UG, patients provide their own vessels to store their tissue until dissection and processing occurs, which can wait up to a week in containers many times no larger than the tissue itself, which can leave the cells necrotic (non-diagnostic).
Correcting improperly mixed formaldehyde. Just as important as the volume ratio of fixative to the tissue, is the concentration of active fixative (formaldehyde) to water. In the US, we purchase formaldehyde already mixed with buffered water to the correct concentrations. In UG, formaldehyde is purchased as a powder and is estimated by the naked eye. Path of Logic will purchase a hydrometer and conduct testing to provide a recipe that will be used in a consistent vessel for accurate and reproducible concentrations of proper fixation. The hydrometer will remain in UG for QA in the future.
Providing living expense funds for 3 residents (physicians training in pathology). Progression in treating cancer, starts with the diagnosis. The Ugandan government encourages certain physician specialties by providing living expense stipends; pathology residents are unpaid. Funds will encourage new residents to enter the field of pathology, and allow the current residents to focus on the highly complicated field of pathology, feeding the forward movement of cancer diagnostics by starting at the roots in education.
Teaming up with Mpowerd Path of Logic will distribute hundreds of solar lights to homes in rural communities without electricity.
January 13th – Feb 6th Anatomic pathology dissection instruction with histological correlation will be provided to 3 medical students with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology. Topics covered include:
– Breast dissection and tumor differentiation
– Colonic resections and cancer staging
– Uterine and cervical pathology
Instruction to histology staff related to small biopsy submission and standard of procedure improvements.
Efforts to organize the current and future tissue blocks and slides to improve turnaround times for cases is a side focus of the trip and will require local Ugandan assistance for building new filing storage containers.
In May of 2016, assistance was provided to the Justinien University Hospital in Cap Haitien, Haiti laboratory staff to establish a histology department lab and install new equipment under the EqualHealth organization. Microtomy and staining instruction, as well as laboratory safety education was a focus for producing quality pathology slides and blocks.
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