With the recent surge in COVID-19 transmission in PNG, the nation needs to increase its testing capacity. PNG Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR) is continuing to up-skill laboratory staff on COVID-19 PCR methods.
Elma Nate, Michelle Katusele and Elvin Lufele from PNGIMR Madang travelled to Goroka last week, where they underwent a four-day training to familiarise with the diagnostic procedures and strict occupational health and safety protocols needed during a pandemic.
The training in Goroka began with descriptions of the virus and methods involved in all steps, from preparing and processing samples to conducting the PCR tests and reporting results. The three trainees also underwent training in OH&S and learned how to don and doff personal protective equipment safely. Finally, they had three days of hands-on experience in the laboratory.
The PNGIMR Madang laboratory complex, located at Yagaum, outside Madang, will be commissioned to begin testing as soon as the necessary equipment, consumables and reagents arrive. Elma, Michelle and Elvin will form the core team to conduct testing. They will pass on their knowledge by training upcoming laboratory scientists.
Photos Credit: PNGIMR