A medical laboratory scientist from Namibia has become the first international student to complete a Graduate Certificate at Flinders University’s International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing.
Douglas Chiwara, who is employed by the Namibia Institute of Pathology, said that once he completes his studies he will use his knowledge to train his colleagues and expand his country’s capability in this crucial area.
In Namibia, because of its limited number of laboratories and large number of isolated communities, delays in testing have a negative effect on patient outcomes, especially in the clinical management and treatment of malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS.
“Point of Care Testing was identified as one strategy that would bring diagnostic services closer to people, especially those in isolated locations,” Mr Chiwara said.
“The Namibia Institute of Pathology was set the task of validating and implementing POCT and I am part of the team entrusted to execute these tasks.
“In searching for a dedicated course to learn more about POCT, I came across the Graduate Certificate in Global Point-of-Care Testing offered by the Flinders University International Centre for Point-of-Care Testing in Australia.
“I was convinced that this course would assist with the implementation of POC testing.”
Because the course is fully on-line, Mr Chiwara has been able to continue working full time in Namibia while studying.
He said the teaching team at Flinders had provided him with excellent assistance and that he was looking forward to training his fellow workers.
“Once I have completed the Graduate Certificate in Global Point-of-Care Testing, I will have the skills to train other remote and rural health workers in the use of POCT to reliably and safely diagnose and manage the high disease burden prevalent in our country,” he said.