The Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) organized a five-day training workshop on advanced parasitology and microbiology techniques in a bid to catalyse the improvement of human health through diagnostic research and innovation.
The training held from September 11th – 15th, 2023 at the College of Health Sciences (COHES), JKUAT attracted participants at different cadres in the medical lab profession ranging from hospital lab professionals, researchers, and university students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
While officiating the opening ceremony, Prof. Johnson Kinyua, Dean School of Biomedical Sciences, commended the participants for undertaking the training to advance their knowledge and urged them to embrace the use of technologies enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine Learning (ML)/
These, he said, had the potential to significantly improve medical laboratory practice in many ways ranging from collecting and analyzing vast amounts of patient data to identifying trends and patterns in test results.
“With the rapid change and integration of technology in almost every sector in the world, we have seen that the application of the same in the medical labs has resulted in easier, and timely diagnoses. In addition, with IoT facilitating the networking of labs, it has enabled remote monitoring of critical laboratory parameters to ensure that conditions are optimal even when lab staff are not on-site,” said Prof. Kinyua.
The interactive training sessions, coordinated by Ms. Millicent Onyango, featured lecture presentations and lab practicals, and gave participants the opportunity to learn from and interact with MLS staff from a variety of disciplines, including virology, haematology, microbiology, parasitology, histology, clinical chemistry, and molecular biology.
The training workshop’s outcome was hailed as beneficial by the enthusiastic participants who provided feedback during the plenary session, which culminated in the awarding of certificates. They appreciated the hands-on experience and fresh perspectives that would help them advance in their careers.
Rose Kisengeu, a 3rd-Year Biotechnology and Microbiology student at the University of Nairobi, commented, “the five days I spent at JKUAT were incredibly valuable. I came back this second time because the insights I gained in a previous session enabled me to score an A, which I would not have gotten otherwise.”
During the closing ceremony, the Principal COHES, represented by Dr. Albanus Mutisya Dean School of Nursing, pointed out that the MLS workshop initiative aligns with JKUAT’s commitment to advancing scientific research and promoting excellence in healthcare services, and that the university hopes to catalyse breakthroughs in diagnostic research and drive innovation in the medical field by equipping medical lab professionals with advanced skills.
Dr Amos Mbugua Chairman MLS, said that the training workshops are an important complement to the theoretical knowledge and also serve as tests before introducing or revising the curriculum. In addition, they provide the opportunity to be hands-on, which is requisite as the country transitions to the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
“Our aim at MLS is to roll out as many practical workshops as possible, which will focus on specific skills so that we can contribute to research that is impactful and promote enhanced proper patient care management,” stated Dr. Mbugua.
The participants were drawn from Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital, Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, the University of Nairobi (UON), and JKUAT.